Thursday, July 19, 2012
Yesterday I went to the event hosted by one of the Jewish organizations. The guest of the event, local comedian was sharing his traveling experience in Russia and Turkey, focusing on some behavioral trends and cultural habits of aborigines. When he talked, his face countenance was always stable and unflappable, as if the information he was providing to his audience was no more than a report for statistical purposes. Because I give a lot of credit to human facial mimic and artistry, I would find myself getting disinterested and frequently distracted from the supposedly humorous monologue.
However, at the moments when my attempts to focus on his narration were successful, I was able to appreciate some his kin reflections on Jewish personality with some humorous historical flashbacks. It turns out that the word Ghetto has Italian origins and it was called Borghetto, which merely addressed to the remote settlements that were outside of the Venice walls, where Jewish groups were placed. The guest would make fun of Jewish pronunciation and refer to the fact that due to their defects of speech, the word Borghetto became Ghetto and is now commonly used worldwide.
The food that I would consider the most comforting and pleasing among everything else that is available on Earth, he would esteem as tasteless and even traumatizing for his physical and mental health. Well, if you are carelessly getting in touch with something absolutely alien to your conservative ideas, the new experience could appear unpleasant at times, and I believe that this exact thing had happened to him in Russia, when he was invited by aborigines to join them in their celebration of life in the utmost ridiculous Russian manner -- vodka, salted cucumbers, marinated this, spiced that... and in abundance.
It was funny to hear how impressed he was of Russian sauna, and the fact that his traveling group was the only one not wearing sauna hats, which gave up misters' apparent foreignness.
The Turkey experience turned out to be fascinating from the political perspective -- it appears that there is a Jewish community in Turkey that lives there in its stable life and even prospers by very unusual means. For instance, they have a police protection for the mere fact that the community promised to buy them new police cars if the old ones break down. I do not know if it is safe to believe stories similar to this one, but it definitely reflects some trends of a Jewish personality in a humorous way. Even though Jewish communities safely exist in Turkey, it is not common to disclose any information about them in public or refer that you belong to the Jewish group.
At the end of the mini-comedy show I was able to have a conversation with the comedian, and he would talk to me in the same imperturbable manner as during his travel narration, without any hint of smile on his lips, without any sigh of excitement or enthusiasm in his eyes. I guess he takes his work very seriously, and I am inclined to think that even too seriously for a comedian. But that is just in my humble opinion. His business card looked creative, though.