Musicians and fans pay tribute to DJ Avicii

Fans of Swedish DJ, remixer, record producer and singer Tim Bergling, better known by his stage name “Avicii” gather in his memory at Sergels torg in central Stockholm, Sweden, on April 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 April 2018
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Musicians and fans pay tribute to DJ Avicii

  • The DJ, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead Friday in Muscat, Oman.
  • He had been holidaying in Oman with friends.

Stockholm: Thousands of fans gathered in Stockholm Saturday to remember Swedish star Avicii, one of the world’s most successful DJs who has died aged 28.
The DJ, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead Friday in Muscat, the capital of the Gulf sultanate Oman, where he had been on holiday with friends.
A police source in Oman said the death was not considered to be suspicious, adding that the circumstances would remain confidential at the request of the family.
On Saturday afternoon, several thousand people gathered to remember the DJ at Sergels Torg plaza in Stockholm, where the crowd danced to his hit songs.
“He was a modern Mozart,” said 61-year-old language teacher Chris Koskela. “One of the greatest artists that Sweden has ever known.”
Fellow DJ Sebastian Ingrosso, who organized the event with Swedish House Mafia, tweeted: “We were just kids with dreams, Tim inspired us all and millions more.”
On Friday night nightclubs across the capital held a minute’s silence and his name was projected on the Ericsson Globe arena, where in 2014 Avicii played three sell-out gigs.
Tributes poured in from the musical world, as well as from Swedish royalty.
Madonna, who worked with Avicii on her last album, posted a picture of herself in the DJ booth with him and wrote: “So Tragic. Goodbye Dear Sweet Tim. Gone Too Soon.”
DJ David Guetta, who collaborated with Avicii on “Sunshine,” wrote: “We lost a friend with such a beautiful heart and the world lost an incredibly talented musician
In 2015, Avicii DJ-ed at the wedding reception of Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip and his bride Sofia. In a statement they said: “We had the honor to have known him and admired him both as an artist and the beautiful person that he was.”
Avicii was among the first DJs to break through into the mainstream as electronic dance music grew over the past decade from nightclubs to Top 40 radio.
His biggest hits included “Wake Me Up,” which went to number one across Europe in 2013 and featured the soul singer Aloe Blacc.
But he had made no secret of his health problems, including pancreatitis, triggered in part by excessive drinking linked to his party lifestyle.
In 2016, Avicii stunned fans by announcing his retirement when he was just 26, saying that he wanted to leave the high-flying electronic music lifestyle.
Avicii — who for years was one of the world’s most lucrative electronic musicians — in 2016 made number 12 on the list of top-paid DJs of Forbes magazine, which said he earned $14.5 million in the previous year.


’No place for a mother’: S. Korea battles to raise birth rate

(FILES) This photo taken on March 22, 2016 shows a child gesturing to a woman at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. (AFP)
Updated 18 December 2018
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’No place for a mother’: S. Korea battles to raise birth rate

  • Now 27, she has been rejected at several job interviews as soon as she revealed she had a child, and has given up seeking employment, trying to set up her own trading business instead

SEOUL: When Ashley Park started her marketing job at a Seoul drugmaker she had a near-perfect college record, flawless English, and got on well with her colleagues — none of which mattered to her employer once she fell pregnant.
Nine months after she joined, Park said, “They said to my face that there is no place in the company for a woman with a child, so I needed to quit.”
All the women working at the firm were single or childless, she suddenly realized, and mostly below 40.
Park’s case exemplifies why so many South Korean women are put off marriage and childbirth, pushing the country’s birth rate — one of the world’s lowest — ever further down.
Earlier this month Seoul announced its latest set of measures to try to stem the decline, but critics say they will have little to no effect in the face of deep-seated underlying causes.
Many South Korean firms are reluctant to employ mothers, doubting their commitment to the company and fearing that they will not put in the long hours that are standard in the country — as well as to avoid paying for their legally-entitled birth leave.
When Park refused to quit, her boss relentlessly bullied her — banning her from attending business meetings and ignoring her at the office “like I was an invisible ghost” — and management threatened to fire her husband, who worked at the same company.
After fighting for about six months, she finally relented and offered her resignation, giving birth to a daughter a month later. Aside from a brief stint at an IT start-up that did not keep its promise of flexible working hours, she has been a stay-at-home mother ever since.
“I studied and worked so hard for years to get a job when youth unemployment was so high, and enjoyed my work so much... and look what happened to me,” Park told AFP.
Now 27, she has been rejected at several job interviews as soon as she revealed she had a child, and has given up seeking employment, trying to set up her own trading business instead.
“The government kept telling women to have more children... but how, in a country like this?” she asked.

The South’s fertility rate — the number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime — fell to 0.95 in the third quarter of 2018, the first time it has dropped below 1 and far short of the 2.1 needed to maintain stability.
As a result of the trend, which has been dubbed a “birth strike” by women, the population of the world’s 11th largest economy, currently 51 million, is expected to start falling in 2028.
Many cite reasons ranging from the expense of child-rearing, high youth unemployment, long working hours and limited daycare to career setbacks for working mothers.
Even if women hold on to their jobs, they bear a double burden of carrying out the brunt of household chores.
Patriarchal values remain deeply ingrained in the South: nearly 85 percent of South Korean men back the idea of women working, according to a state survey, but that plummets to 47 percent when asked whether they would support their own wives having a job.
Employment rates for married men and women are dramatically different — 82 percent and 53 percent respectively.
Now nearly three-quarters of South Korean women aged 20-40 see marriage as unnecessary, an opinion poll by a financial magazine and a recruitment website showed. But almost all children in the South are born in wedlock.

Against that backdrop, the South’s government has spent a whopping 136 trillion won ($121 billion) since 2005 to try to boost the birth rate, mostly through campaigns to encourage more young people to wed and reproduce, without success.
Earlier this month it announced yet another round of measures.
They included expanding child subsidies of up to 300,000 won ($270) a month, and allowing parents with children younger than eight to work an hour less each day to take care of their offspring.
More daycare centers and kindergartens will be built, and men will be allowed — but not obliged — to take 10 days of paid birth leave, up from the current three.
But many measures were not legally binding and carried no punishment for firms that denied their workers the promised benefits, and the package met a disdainful response.
“The government policies are based on this simplistic assumption that ‘if we give more money, people would have more children’,” the Korea Women Workers Association said in a statement.
Seoul should first address “relentless sexual discrimination at work and the double burden of work and housechores” for women, it added.
The centrist Korea Times newspaper also questioned whether such “lacklustre” state policies would bring in real change unless the government tackled the real drivers of women shunning marriage and childbirth.
“Unless these harsh conditions for women change, no amount of government subsidies will convince women having children is a happy choice.”