Scrambling for movies to watch this summer, someone suggested “Adio Kerida”.
The documentary, produced and directed by anthropologist Ruth Behar, is about the search for identity and memory among Sephardic Jews with roots in Cuba.
Cuba as you know is just a hop, skip and a jump from my parents’ native Dominican Republic. Cuban food is similar enough in some ways (rice, beans, plantains) to Dominican food that I have lately found myself praying for a kosher Cuban restaurant.
Maybe a kosher Dominican restaurant will never happen (unless I start one) but a kosher Cuban restaurant must exist somewhere. A friend who is going kosher said she will miss the non-kosher Cuban food most. She wrote me: “If I could just install a central line to get plantains into my body as quickly as possible, I’d be all over it.”
The title of Ruth Behar’s film is based on a Ladino song:
Tu madre kuando te pario
I te kito al mundo
Korason eya no te dio
Para amar segundo
Adio, Adio kerida
No kero la vida
Me l’amargates tu
Va bushkate otro amor
Aharva otras puertas
Aspera otro pasion
Ke para mi sos muerta.
This film is just another example of why you’re missing out if you don’t have The Jewish Channel.
Now, if only I could get my husband to agree to getting cable. I guess I’ll have to buy the film on DVD.
One of the first books I read on my path to becoming Jewish was written by a Cuban Jew, Gigi Anders, by “Jubana!: The Awkwardly True and Dazzling Adventures of a Jewish Cubana Goddess”. While Anders is not religious, I learned a lot about juggling Jewish and Hispanic cultures from her memoir.