Busking, Traditional Arts, and the Digital Future.

Recently, on the way back from work, my attention was grabbed by the street performance, or busking, of a few young college students who were apparently playing a traditional Japanese instrument called the Shamisen.

It felt good to see young people learning and performing the traditional arts, and to see a handful of people stopping by like I did and sparing some time to appreciate their performance. Coz’ in this day and age, I won’t be surprised to see more people passing by with their eyes locked on screens and completely ignoring the live performance before them.

Though I expect, in a few years’ time, that these young people will have discarded their Shamisen and started spending most of their lives making our already efficient world more efficient and making money out of it, while staring hard into screens when they aren’t doing so.

A somewhat depressing thought.

That, I suppose, is reality—it can’t be helped, can it? In the meantime, all we can do is to enjoy these performances and hope that the day reality is taken over by the digital doesn’t come too soon.

(By the way, according to Wikipedia—as one would expect—busking is an activity that “dates back to antiquity”.  Would love to read more about its history though.)