Tag Archives: Judaism

Fighting Prejudice in Africa

Today is the second day of Chanukah and I shall use this remembrance day of victory under difficult circumstances to talk about other groups of people who are suffering due to ignorance.

Following my recent and intensive interest in everything African, I decided to investigate how the situation for young Africans is at present. I am not talking about black gay people, rather those men (and women) who were born and/or live in the African continent and who happen to feel attracted to the same sex.

The picture is appalling. Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries and gay men and women are subject to all kinds of discrimination, violence, hatred and even to being killed because of their sexuality.

Fortunately, some people are mobilized for the homosexuals of Africa and doing a great work in bringing awareness of the issues involved in it: Behind the Mask. In their own words:

Behind the Mask is a communication initiative around LGBTI rights and affairs in Africa. The organization considers information and communication technology (ICT) and independent journalistic activism as its main tools. By way of publishing a website magazine the organization gives voice to African LGBTI communities and provides a platform for exchange and debate for LGBTI groups, activists, individuals and allies.

From now on I shall be very keen on helping our African fellows in the global fight for Human Rights and Equality.

Sickening middle class & the Soothing antidote

Brazilian middle-class makes me sick. With the enormous choice of national rhythms and music, they choose to go to the otherwise lovely Ouro Preto to attend a jazz festival amidst the 35° heat of this Indian Summer of ours. Not that I can’t appreciate that beautiful type of music, it is just that I get very upset and frustrated that there arelots of  funds and festivals to value something that is quite alien to most Brazilians.

Basically, everyone who knows how to read or at least those who have a fine ear know that Brazil is a very musical country. Apart from the world-famous samba and bossa nova there is also:

All those music styles are quite popular, in the sense that the common man likes them. Quite interestingly, they are all heavily influenced by African musicality, thus dissociated from the richer, European-American upper classes.

In their attempt to distance themselves from the people, the uncreative dominant classes go on copying external cultural movements, ever trying and pretending to be something that they just are not.

On a much more positive note, here’s a taste of a band which in my mind was going to save Brazilian pop music from boredom and mediocrity with their mixture of rock and maracatu instruments. Enjoy:

Unfortunately, the lead singer and creative mind of the group tragically died in a car crash years ago.

Who’s to save us now?

PS: May the Jewish new year bring newness and novelty to all of us. !שנה טובה

Gays and Jews: a rhyme

Today is the first day of Pessach and to celebrate this lovely Jewish holiday I will bring Jews together with another joyous people: homosexuals!

Ever since I was a child I’ve had contact with Jewish people. They have been in my classes, work, love life and very often part of my circle of friends. Hearing what they say about the difficulties of being a Jew sparks numerous comparisons in my mind about the two minorities referred in the title. I shall highlight here some of the similarities, but know that there are more.

Gays & Jews:

  • will always be a minority;
  • have been persecuted for centuries (and still are being);
  • are constantly worried about acceptance;
  • are more than often unable to forget the fact that they gay or/and Jewish;
  • always know or want to know or pretend to know who’s gay and who’s not a Jew;
  • meet in special places, reserved just for them;
  • usually have a higher cultural level;
  • only (or mostly) date their own people;
  • like parties and celebrations &
  • just are what they are.
Jews, gays, gays, Jews

Jews, gays, gays, Jews

One last comparison that really makes me happy is the fact that a great number of Jewish and gay people, so tired of persecutions and prejudice, fight against all of prejudices’ ugly faces and types of manifestation. I’ve always believed that minorities should stick together and raise their voices against stupidity and narrow-mindedness.

This combination is definitely kosher.