Complaints Choirs Worldwide

Since 2005, people in cities worldwide have organized to complain through song (rather than Twitter, blogs or talk radio) ever since two Helsinkians plotted to make it happen:

It all got started during a winter day walk of Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen in Helsinki. Perhaps it was due to the coldness of the day that they ended up discussing the possibility of transforming the huge energy people put into complaining into something else. Perhaps not directly into heat – but into something powerful anyway.

In the Finnish vocabulary, there is an expression “Valituskuoro”. It means “Complaints Choir” and it is used to describe situations where a lot of people are complaining simultaneously. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen thought: “Wouldn’t it be fantastic to take this expression literally and organize a real Complaints Choir!”

The first such Complaints Choir was organized in Birmingham, England, and since then, choirs have sprung up in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Check out the Complaints Choir of Chicago above for a great example, or Singapore’s choir below for acronym overload at the 5:57 mark.

Jason Schupp
Jason Schupp

I need to appreciate brevity!