Thursday, January 31, 2008

Are You a "Beluga Grad"?

I'm not. I wasn't aware of Raffi or his music until I had my own children. We used to check out videos of his concerts at the library and my kids loved his songs. I had kind of forgotten about him until we ran across a video of one of his children's concerts at DI. Watching it again got me thinking - what is that old Raffi up to these days?

I found his website at He is busy making speeches and appearances to spread his philosphy called "Child Honouring." Basically his ideal is a child-centered society where children are recognized for "the creatively intelligent people they are, respecting their personhood as their own, recognizing them as essential members of the community and providing the fundamental nurturance they need in order to flourish." I think his ideas are interesting but what I really admire about him is the fact that he has consistantly refused "all commercial endorsement offers, and his triple-bottom-line company has never directly advertised or marketed to children. He is a passionate advocate for a child’s right to live free of commercial exploitation. Recently, he sent an open letter to Rogers Wireless urging they stop marketing cellphones to kids, and turned down a Baby Beluga film proposal laden with exploitative advertising and merchandising." I think that is pretty cool because there are not many celebrities (I guess you could call him that) these days that can resist the money that comes with commercializing themselves.

Anyway, regardless of his philosophy - Raffi will always mean "Down By the Bay" and "Baby Beluga" to me!


brooke said...

This was very interesting! I had no idea that Raffi was still going strong. You should also listen to a song called "Bananaphone".... it's a great one.

Anna said...

That makes me like him just that much more. I love Raffi. Last year when I taught preschool we had a Baby Beluga book and we sang that song and looked at the pictures every day, at the kids request.
I wonder what the world would be like if advertisements/commercialization for children vanished?

Julie said...

We are Raffi fans here at our house. My kids grew up singing his songs in the car, around town and on every road trip.

Jennette said...

We totally love Raffi too! That takes me back to those days when it felt like Raffi was on non-stop. I guess we had OD-ed because I'd sort of forgotten about him recently, but it's making me think that we should pull out the old tapes again because I'm sure that Olivia would really love it.