Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Obamamania (DC Flashback)

It has now been two years since Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. There was much euphoria in DC at the time: above, international newspapers (from Brazil and Saudi Arabia) announce Obama's victory in the election (Newseum, the day after Election Day, November 5, 2009). You can view front pages from newspapers around the world on this day at this Newseum website.

Other museums around DC fed into "Obamamania" in their own ways. Above, "Hongera Barack Obama," a kanga (dyed cotton cloth, used for many purposes), produced in east Africa in 2008, hangs on display at the National Museum of African Art. Obama's father was from Kenya, and the Swahili inscription expresses the hope many felt upon Obama's election: Upendo Na Amani Ametujalia Mungu ("God has blessed us with peace and love").

At the gift shop of the National Museum of American History, this children's book recognizes Obama's connections to Hawaii, the state where he was born. Note the use of the backwards apostrophe [ʻ] in the word Hawaiʻi. This punctuation mark, called the ʻokina, represents the glottal stop, a sound that does not exist in English.

The National Museum of the American Indian also got involved in the celebrations. Here, dancers perform a traditional Hawaiian mele inoa (name chant) for Obama as part of the Smithsonian's "Out of Many" Festival, January 17, 2009. You can read the Hawaiian text (with English translation) and even watch a recording of the performance on this website.

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