Man, if I was a Grinch last week, you don’t even want to know about this week. So annoyed! My ceiling is leaking and I’m camping in the living room. But there was one thing that made me feel better …
This is AMAZING!! I love a cappella to begin with and then bring in Queen, well, Chanukah doesn’t get better than that!
As an American and Israeli, I noticed that this was a great cultural mix.
Note the hard ch (Antiochus, Chanukah, Chai) but Mattathius.
Israeli Chanukah treats (sufganiot – filled donuts) and American Chanukah food (latkes – potato pancakes). If Israelis make latkes in Israel they are called levivot (hearts – I don’t know why) and are never served with applesauce (I know, right?). And sour cream? Fuggedaboutit. Maybe gvina levana.
Sevivon as well as dreidle and gelt (Israelis don’t actually know the rules to the dreidle game; they just know there’s a top and it spins).
Sevivon, sov, sov, sov, as well as a clay dreidle (you gotta know your Chanukah songs for this one).
Chanukiahs, but not a menorah to be found.
Aba, Ema, but Bubbe (surprisingly not many grandmas are called bubbe here).
Ah, but where was the miracle? Nes gadol haya po. It was here, not there (sham). We’re in Israel! (Even if Six13 are New York-based.)
So after singing this at the top of my lungs (many times), which hopefully bothers the neighbors whose fault it is that my ceiling is leaking, I’ve decided: Dammit all, I’m going to be a freaking light in the darkness.
Lots of things have been happening in Israel and around the world, but to be honest, the only thing I paid attention to this week was my Chinese drama.
Meteor Garden 2018
I’ve been in the Korean drama world for about 4 years and I dabble in Taiwanese dramas. Once in a long while, if the Korean drama netizens are talking about a Chinese drama, I’ll watch that. But the whole drama world went bananas for this remake (I’ve seen fan sites in English, Chinese, Russian, Thai, and Spanish). The source material is a 1992 manga (serialized graphic novel) from Japan and several remakes have been done, most famously in Taiwan and Korea. This is the kind of drama that launches careers.
Me as a manga character
Living in Israel, I feel much more like a citizen of the world than I did in the US. But I started to wonder if that was really true. I’m an immigrant, my mom is an immigrant, a majority of the family friends when I was growing up are immigrants (from China, Croatia, UK, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, just off the top of my head) or are at least well-traveled.
I remembered that one of my favorite childhood shows was Star Blazers. At the time, I didn’t know that it was originally a Japanese cartoon that had been dubbed. I was riveted every day and I just thought the long, lean, big-eyed, beautiful people were just part of the style of the cartoon and didn’t think much of the fact that it didn’t look like Super Friends or Scooby Doo.
Star Blazers intro – “Our Star Blazers!”
Long before I moved to Israel, I was aware of Asia; over the years, I’ve had an interest in Tai Chi, Thai food, and Chinese medicine. So when my Greek friend in Israel introduced me to Korean dramas, the cultural anthropologist that I secretly wanted to be took over and my interest in drama spilled into trying to understand the mysteries of Asian culture.
Is it because I live in Israel, hear multiple languages in the street and meet people of different ethnic backgrounds, and feel like I am at the crossroads of civilizations between Europe and Asia that I have recently found myself drawn to explore more and more about Asia?
Or would my love of subtitled movies, natural cultural curiosity, and the easy internet access to subtitled dramas have led me down this road eventually even if I lived in the US?
A different view of the world
I think it’s because I live in Israel. This is a small country with many immigrants and a citizenry that values traveling and seeing the world. In Israel, my American-ness makes me foreign, and somehow more of a global citizen. In the US, I was foreign, but spent so much time and effort in being American, I didn’t value my foreignness and so by default rejected global citizenry. All the potential was there, but it was only in Israel where I could be myself – a person in the cultural margins – that I could plant my roots and grow in different cultural directions.
My deep roots are in the US and Israel, I have cultural sprouts in Russia and Ukraine, and I’m growing branches in Korea, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. Yes, I’m a global citizen indeed.