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Music, Theatre

Socalled @ ZumerFest: This Sunday

Posted by Margot / June 16, 2009

20090616-socalled.jpgJosh Dolgin knows the difference between a ghettoblaster and an old timey radio, but it doesn't mean that he can't use them both. Klezmer hip hop artist Socalled will be playing a free show this Sunday, June 21, at ZumerFest, a celebration of Yiddish culture, summertime, and Montreal's diversity. This afternoon of music and cultural exchange - which will go on rain or shine - comes in the middle of the Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival, being put on by the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts, and running from tomorrow, June 17, until the 25th.

Fifty years ago, the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre opened its doors, and half a century later, it's still a unique institution in North America. To celebrate this momentous anniversary, the Centre has invited theatre companies from around the world to participate in a week of celebration of Yiddish theatre, the first festival of its type ever. So while Montrealers will make up a large proportion of the audiences, this festival is far form a local endeavour: Yiddish theatre companies are coming from around the world to perform, including companies from Australia, Romania, Poland, Israel, and France.

20090616-segal1.jpgIn partnership with McGill's Jewish Studies department, the Festival will also be hosting a symposium on Yiddish theatre, bringing together scholars on the subject from across North America and Europe, and talking about common themes in Yiddish theatre, as well as its presence and performance around the world. You can also check out the related exhibit on display at the Segal Centre throughout the week.

20090616-segal2.jpgThe organizers of ZumerFest want Montrealers to know that this festival is a celebration of the diversity of our city and that everyone is welcome, whether you're Jewish or not, understand Yiddish or have never heard a word of it. Their slogan - "Together in diversity" - rings true considering the other invitees to Sunday afternoon's concert. Panday Tinig, a local Filipino community choir, will perform a multi-lingual set, as well as a performance by a Haitian Quebecoise. Beyond the Pale, a Toronto band that blends the more traditional Klezmer, Balkan and Romanian styles with bluegrass and funk, will round out the musical afternoon (though you're welcome to bring your own instruments and join in the jam session.)

20090616-segal3.jpgOf course, like any good Sunday afternoon fun-for-the-whole-family affair, ZumerFest will supply a healthy dose of face paint, bouncy castles, drum circles, and circus workshops. And despite any forecast for rain, ZumerFest will go on rain or shine. The outdoor venue is located in Mackenzie King Park, on Côte-Ste-Catherine Road at the corner of Westbury in Côte-des-Neiges. If it's raining, the show will go on in the Segal Centre Lobby, just across the street at 5170 Côte-Ste-Catherine Road. Worry not, though: look how wrong Environment Canada was about last weekend's weather.

Thanks to Suzanne Shugar and Corey Gulkin from the Segal Centre for providing the pictures and information, and to the Socalled myspace page for the image.

Discussion

7 Comments

Krzysztof / February 4, 2015 at 09:03 am
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Hi Tori,I appreciate your blog very much, incundilg your insights about being a recent convert to Judaism. I am Jewish but was not raised in the religion so much. I've spent much of my life studying my heritage. So, first of all, welcome, and thanks for the great recipes and especially the photos, which are extremely well done. I apologize that my post is somewhat long, but I wrote a lot to try to be as clear as I can about what some readers most likely feel but won't say directly. I do so with the best of intentions, and with lots of respect for you and your blog fans.I wish to express my concern about your use of the word shiksa. You're free to call yourself whatever you wish, but for those of us who grew up with even a smattering of Yiddish at home, it is a word that makes us cringe. And your employment of it, in my opinion, promotes several misunderstandings.For one thing, your comment Today, the word is often used to describe a non-Jewish woman who is in a relationship with a Jewish man is true as far as it goes, but there really is no difference in how one refers to a non-Jew who is dating a Jew, and what one calls any other non-Jew. As you can see from one of the previous comments, at least one person (and she is probably just a tiny representative of many) has construed your statement to mean that as a non-Jewish woman, she must not be a shiksa because she's not dating a Jew. That is an erroneous assumption based on your statement. As a historian, I understand that language is fluid, and terms change in meaning over time, but such misinterpretations are a concern to those of us who grew up with Yiddish words and love the language. No one wants Yiddish to be set in stone. As a living language (we hope), it will naturally change. Nevertheless, at this point the dating status of a non-Jewish woman has absolutely nothing to do with the meaning of the word shiksa although it may be trotted out by the relatives of a Jewish guy, which is unfortunate because, like it or not, shiksa carries an unpleasant connotation to native speakers. Shiksa, like several other words I choose not to use, is derogatory. I think those of your readers who didn't grow up with Yiddish (Jewish and non-Jewish) should know this from the outset. You can say you're owning the word, you can decide that you're redefining it, but it makes many of us wince. Besides carrying a connotation of something unclean, it implies stupidity and loose morals. Shiksa is not a neutral term, and despite the sentiment expressed by the linguist who commented saying that you are rescuing it from a meaning it was never intended to have (not sure how she knows this, but assuming she's correct), it *is*, like it or not, used as a slight by most Yiddish speakers. Words aren't just sounds; they communicate kinesthetically (as a feeling) as well. A non-Jew is referred to respectfully as a non-Jew. Terms like shiksa, goy, and shaygetz do not communicate respect among native speakers, and are not names that non-Jews should want to be called, literal definitions notwithstanding. Again, as a historian, I'm speaking of how words get used, and those who really use the language still use terms like shiksa in a way that is, at the very least, disparaging. (Trust me, I've been in a number of situations in which someone will call him/herself a goy, and if there's another Jew who knows any Yiddish in the room, I'll check my reaction with that person. Inevitably really the other person will agree completely with my discomfort at this usage.)I want to be very clear that this is NOT how I or anyone I know thinks of non-Jews. This is why I refuse to use the words shiksa, goy, etc. I respect everyone, and this is the real Jewish teaching; so much so, that after one converts, Jews are not supposed to remind him/her of their conversion because once you're adopted into the family, one is to make no distinction (although I totally understand the need to acknowledge and appreciate your heritage-of-origin, and I applaud that attitude no one should have to disown his/her background). Anyone who refers to a convert in a disrespectful or derogatory way is breaking Jewish law. I know it goes on, and I deplore it. Fortunately, I think the old-fashioned cultural ways, born of centuries of being oppressed and needing to protect the cohesion of the group, are changing for the better. But in my opinion, it will take a long time (if ever) before words like shiksa are anything you'd want to use.I'm sure my post won't change how you call yourself. (All other factors aside, Shiksa in the Kitchen is a catchy brand.) But those who read the blog, and especially those unfamiliar with Yiddish, should understand the connotation of the word so that they can make informed choices. Keep up the good work, and thanks for choosing a Jewish path. I, for one, am very grateful for what you bring to our people.
golu dolls / January 30, 2019 at 03:55 am
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / January 30, 2019 at 03:56 am
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / January 30, 2019 at 03:57 am
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nice post
herbal powder / January 30, 2019 at 03:57 am
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nice post

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