books and reading · culture/multiculturalism · Hispanics/Latinos · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · television

Adios Querida? No, Adio Kerida

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.
For the English translation click here.
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.

6 thoughts on “Adios Querida? No, Adio Kerida

  1. I am Cuban. We have little in common with Dominicans. For one, we arre staunchly Republican and have advanced socioeconomically in the United States. We are also more or less not mestizos and have stronger familial connections in Spain, compared to Domoinicans who have more Native American and African blood. Of course, there are also Afro-Cubans, but they are mostly still in Cuba.

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  2. Aliza I ditto that! I am also dominican and let me tell you anonymous that cubans and dominicans have LOTS in common. Our culture is basically the same that's why we dont get along. LOL. Just kidding. I have a lot of friends who are cubans and they are not republicans and they're very nice people. We get along so well because we share the same culture, language and love for Judaism. Although most cubans have advanced socioeconomically more than dominicans, that does not make them better or superior to dominicans. I am dominican, my grandparents from my father's side are from venezuela and my mom is from spain but grew up in DR. I also have friends who trace their roots to Italy, poland and even China believe it or not, Santo Domingo is the second America. So stop saying that Dominicans have more african and native american blood than spanish blood, I bet that I have more Spanish blood than you. By the way, the most famous and talented cuban singer in the world was white, had blonde hair and blue eyes and had no african blood, of course I am refering to Celia Cruz. Eat azuca and educate yourself about your culture and dominicans before you decide to write something about it. You're obviouly very insecure and there is no doubt that you have a Fidel Castro Complex for putting down even the Afro-cubans who by the way call themselves cubans and dont use the Afro as a prefix to flauting their identity.

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  3. Cubans who live in the North tend to be liberal, en el estilo de Roberto Menendez. Union City no es el mismo de Miami o Hialeah, where most are conservative because we know that socialism doesn't work. Socialism is the reason why my abuelo came to this country on a rafter 40 years ago with his family. And his brothers were involved with the Bay of Pigs and the whole familia learned then that the liberals can't be trusted. Where I live in NY, there are hardly no Cubans left. Our community mostly moved up in life, but it is interesting to live in a community with lots of Dominicans, Boricua and Hebreos (I live in the Heights). You people don't make that bad of a fufu (what you call mofongo), but I miss the taste of a real croqueta, tamal and Varadero-style pizza, which is unlike anything you have ever had before. With all due respect to the first blogger, most Cubans are visibly a lot whiter than most Dominicans and Puerto Ricans because by the time most Spaniards went to Cuba, the conquistadores killed off the Tainos.

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  4. “With all due respect to the first blogger, most Cubans are visibly a lot whiter than most Dominicans and Puerto Ricans because by the time most Spaniards went to Cuba, the conquistadores killed off the Tainos.”

    Okay, with absolutely no due respect, do not use my blog to play that diehard old Hispanic game of “guess who's whiter and more Spanish than you.” I've met as many black and white Dominicans as I've met black and white Cubans. The black Cubans and the black Dominicans are just as Cuban and Dominican as the white ones and we don't need to spread more stereotypes here about what “most” people do and don't look like.

    The Tainos were killed off by the time most of us got mixed up. Columbus landed on freaking Hispaniola (Haiti/The Dominican Republic) in 1492. Besides the whole game is preposterous! The most Spanish person in my family (half-Spanish no less) is BROWN b/c her mixed Dominican genes were stronger than her white Spanish father's genes. And incidentally, who cares except for two crazy Cubans on this blog.

    No more posts from the two of you!

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