Tag Archives: Yiddish

The Space Age Started This Day, 60-Years Ago, With The Soviet Launched Sputnik 1; October 4, 1957.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputnik_1

The Sputnik.

I remember it well. I had just turned 4. It was BIG news in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). We did NOT have TV in the country at that stage, but it was covered, extensively, in the newspapers and radio.

My adoptive father, a news and political junkie, was excited. Much of what I heard and learnt was from him.

And then there was my surrogate father, a white, Baptist, lawyer (for the Ceylon Ministry of Food) who was BIG into dabbling in things electrical — so much so that all of his other nephews and nieces, bar I, called him ‘Light Mama‘ (i.e., Light-father, the ‘light’ a reference to his fondness for all things electric). I just called him ‘Ta‘. That happens to be the first two letters of ‘Tatta‘ — our Sinhalese name for ‘father’ (and very similar to the Yiddish word for father). I called my adoptive father, ‘Tatta’, and my surrogate father ‘Ta’. Makes sense, right?

Well, ‘Ta’, was very excited too in his reserved, dignified, lawyerly manner. He managed to tune one of his many radios, some built from scratch by him using vacuum tubes, to hear the ‘beep … beep’ signal.

60-years ago. Wow.

You know that I got to meet Yuri Gagarin, the first man EVER in space, when he visited Ceylon 4-years after the Sputnik.

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by Anura Guruge

Advent 2015 Is Upon Us. Rejoice!

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail


by Anura Guruge

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Click to ENLARGE.

As a Reformed, Born-Again, Heathen I LOVE Christmas and always have. I love everything about Christmas — and I have even been known to go to church on Christmas eve because I love the music and pageantry.

My surrogate father [who I called ‘Ta’ (the first two letters of ‘Tatta’, the Sinhalese (and Yiddish) word for father), and after who I take after the most in terms of personality] was a mainly-white, Burgher Baptist. I used to spend all my weekends and holidays with them — he and his wife (my adoptive mother’s older sister). They had no children and he was a lawyer (the solicitor for the Ceylon Ministry of Food) and she the Deputy Principal of Ceylon’s largest and most prestigious school. I MADE OUT LIKE A BANDIT. I was to learn that Ta shopped right through the year to make sure he got enough presents for me at Christmas! Very early on WE dispensed with Christmas stockings. They were too small. He instituted the notion of Christmas PILLOWCASES — and soon we had to have two. He also did an elaborate Christmas dinner, with all the works, for the entire family — most of whom were Buddhists — on Christmas Day. So I was inculcated into the joys of Christmas since a baby.

Anywho …


Similar to what I had. Mine had more blue.

I am also very partial to Advent calendars — ever since I encountered them. For whatever reason we did not have them in Ceylon. To be honest I only encountered Advent calendars quite ‘late’ in my life. In my early 20s. Over the years I used to collect fancy Advent calendars. I used to have a really nice, royal blue and gold, 3D Cathedral one. You opened a portal each day. I think we have bits of it still. But since it was made of stiff paper it eventually started to fall apart.

Of late I don’t bother with a calendar for myself. More fun to let the kids enjoy. Yes, I get them — and Deanna — chocolate ones. I buy a LOT of them each year because I LOVE to give them to people. That reminds me. I will have to go to Hannaford and buy 20 – 25 today! Well, the kids end up getting two each. And one for Deanna. So that is 5 straight off the bat. And at Christmas I love to play the tanned St. Nicholas …

A couple of years ago I discovered the LEGO Advent Calendars. Now I get one each year for Teischan. See above.

Given my interest in religion (in particular early Christianity) I do appreciate that what WE mainly celebrate as Advent is the COMMERCIAL Advent as opposed to the Liturgical Advent. And ironically Advent isn’t a countdown to Christmas BUT to the Second Coming of Christ — and there is  BIG difference. Liturgically the Advent does not start on Dec. 1 (unless it happens to fall on a Sunday). Never mind. This year we are close.

Rejoice. Enjoy. Be Merry. The Advent is upon us. 

‘Free The Female Nipple’ Protest Top/Bikini — The Brilliant ‘Tata Top’.

speedo1Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail


by Anura Guruge

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Aug. 23, Hampton Beach — Pictures.
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Click here to visit their entertaining and clever Website.

This is SO clever and so to THE POINT.

I love it.

Talk about making a statement.

I would love to see a bunch of women descending on Gilford Beach (NH) in these to see what the reaction would be.

Yes, in some ways it is ‘regressive’ in that females should NOT have to wear such tops just to exercise a basic right that they DO HAVE — in most place — by law.

That they are supporting some of the ‘female topless’ movements makes it even more laudatory. 

The choice of name intrigues me.

‘Tata’ is ‘dad’ in both Yiddish and my native Sinhalese (though it is sometimes spelt ‘tatta’). Then there is the GIANT Indian ‘Tata Group‘ which among other things now own (my beloved) Jaguar brand.

Laconia Multicultural Day, NH, September 8, 2012.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Given that I have mentioned it a number of times, including yesterday, I realized that it is time that I did do a post on the Laconia Multicultural Day. It is on Saturday, September 8, 2012 this year — rain or shine. This is the 11th Multicultural Day. So it was started in September 2012 — a year after the events of a year ago; Laconia, one of predominately white (2nd whitest of the States) NH’s most diverse towns. I have been to each one without fail, rain or shine. When we lived in Gilford it was a piece of cake. We could make multiple trips if needed. Now we go for one long stretch.

It is definitely a wonderful occasion. Very uplifting and fulfilling — food is great too. Music is invariably divine and the drumming, now becoming a feature of the day, will make your day. Plus, it is free, but you will need some money for the food.

No sooner had I mentioned it yesterday, there was an article about it in the Laconia Daily Sun. It started by saying that ‘The Day’ had just been awarded a ‘Best of NH 2012’ award by the New Hampshire Magazine. That is great. Well deserved. It also had a list of the performers. Here is that list, and if you are wondering we do have a lot of folks from the ‘Balkan’ region in Laconia:

Cinder Conk: Balkan and Eastern European.

Balkan-Romany-Yiddish: Acoustic folk dance music from the Black Sea area

Classical Indian Dance

Robert Tunnaway Turner: Native American flute

Ras Moon and Monsoon: Afro-beat/Reggae

Burundi Drummers

New Horizon Band

The parade starts around 9 or 10. I will post the exact schedule when it becomes available. I will see you there – except, for a rare change, I will not be the only brown face there!