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Differences are meant to be celebrated and shared and highlighted as the beauty that makes the world spin around. Each of us and our cultures are different and unique. Please join Blupela in celebrating the uniqueness of your life and heritage by sharing it as a spotlight on Light of Culture.

Create a Light of Culture Spotlight and show the creativity of your people to the world. It can be a photo or video of anything that represents who you are and who you see yourself to be within your communities and cultural background. Art, music, dance, food, clothing, worship, sports, anything that is unique to YOU!

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North America

Oneg Shemesh

Oneg Shemesh
Oneg Shemesh Band ~ Indie Folk/Rock Music
Bio
Oneg Shemesh's music represents a fresh and innovative new sound in Jewish music. His engaging and interactive style is sure to invigorate your soul and your feet!
Oneg Shemesh, whose first name means “utmost joy”, is an Israeli-born guitarist and singer known for positive, well-crafted songs, and genre-blending, innovative work that blends the spiritual aspects of the Modern Orthodox culture in which he was raised with a folk rock sensibility.
Whether singing about “shining the light forward” or one’s personal responsibilities in “Only I”, Oneg Shemesh’s music is at times evocative, inspirational, and powerful while always remaining upbeat.
Oneg was raised in Israel on Moshav Modi’im near Tel Aviv. After completing his army service, he joined The Moshav Band as a founding member, an Israeli American-Jewish folk rock band, they combine Jewish music with elements of alternative rock, folk, and reggae. Shemesh toured with them throughout Israel, the United States and Canada.
When he is not creating and performing music, he likes to spend time with his 3 beautiful children, hike, rollerblade, bike & workout at the gym. He currently resides in West Hempstead, NY.
I'm so grateful to my amazing fans! With your help the song & music video called SOME DAYS in memory of my Mom O.B.M. has been completed & released! Check it out below!
Check out his live shows
This song is dedicated to my Mom A”H ברכה בת חונה יואל הכהן וזלטא
I had the privilege of writing this song & performing it for my Mom before she passed on FEB 5, 2017.
Here is the clip she took on her phone & this is what she wrote about the experience.
This is a beautiful song that my son Oneg Shemesh wrote with me in mind. He really nailed it perfectly. He totally captured in the simple lyrics, exactly how I’m feeling these days. Every time I hear him singing this, I am moved to tears and at the same time filled with joy!
Please share this song with anyone you know who is fighting cancer or who needs to hear this message of HOPE!
To buy the song go to https://onegshemesh.com/track/1542488/some-days
Listen
Oneg Shemesh Programs


Check out my merchandise page! With your support we are able to continue releasing music & spreading the joy!!


Check out my store !
Every purchase you make helps me to raise the funds to cover the costs of marking & promoting my music.
BE MY PARTNER!
LET'S GET THE MUSIC OUT TO THE WORLD!
Contact


Votes1 DateSep 5, 2018

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North America

Maine Acadians

Bernard Asper
Maine's Franco-American heritage dates back to early French explorers, Acadian settlers and French missionaries. Today, Franco-Americans are Maine's largest ethnic group.
Maine's Acadian heritage can be traced to 1604 and a scrap of rock and timber in the St. Croix River—right between what is now Maine and New Brunswick. Tiny St. Croix Island held France’s first settlement in l'Acadie—Acadia in English—a colony on America’s North Atlantic coast. The St. Croix Island settlement didn’t last, but Acadia grew until it included much of today’s Atlantic Canada.
War ended the colony and exile scattered the Acadians. In 1785, 16 Acadian families fled Fredericton, New Brunswick—pushed out, ironically, by American Tories (American Loyalists) who’d fled the American Revolution. The Acadian families traveled up the St. John River and resettled in St. David, in northern Aroostook County.
There are a number of Acadian heritage sites throughout the St. John Valley. At The Acadian Village in Van Buren, you'll find 16 reconstructed buildings dating from 1785 to the early 1900s.
Edited from: https://visitmaine.com/things-to-do/arts-and-culture/acadian-culture

Votes3 DateNov 9, 2017

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North America

Votes3 DateJul 10, 2017

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North America

Cherokee Amazing Grace

Angela Horne
Such Peace
Thank you

Votes1 DateJun 4, 2017

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North America

Artist Manifesto - Santa Fe Street Performance

Issa Nyaphaga
- Artist Manifesto -
Santa Fe Street Art Performance:
Artist Performance "The Walk of the Water Carrier", Issa Nyaphaga an artist from Cameroon (West Africa) in Residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute for the Water Rights Residency, will perform in Santa Fe on Friday, May 5th, 2017. Issa grew up in the rural African village of Nditam, Cameroon where he carried water twice a day before and after school. The artist will reprise the walk carrying a bucket of water on his head from his studio at SFAI to the Mill Contemporary Gallery on Canyon road where the opening of his exhibition, the Sanctuary Show, will be taking place.
Issa Nyaphaga alias ‘Artoonist’ was imprisoned and persecuted in Cameroon for his political cartoons. Issa paints his body as a way to find resilience. Issa will build a costume out of recycled plastic bottles for his Friday performance. Issa Nyaphaga was selected by SFAI for his award winning project “Water for Social Peace”.
Open to the public - for a fun Friday Art Walk.

Votes4 DateApr 29, 2017

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North America

Melungeons

Bernard Asper
The Melungeons

Melungeons, dark-skinned mountaineers of eastern Tennessee, southwest Virginia and Kentucky, have sparked myths and theories over the past century: among them that they were descendants of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors, or the Roma, the Gypsies. Some have speculated on connections with the Lumbee Indians in Robeson County or the Lost Colonists of the Outer Banks. The traditional view is that they are of mixture of black, white and Native American origin.
For centuries, they remained almost invisible to the American mainstream. They live hidden away on inaccessible mountain ridges, and a racially segregated society wrote them off as a mixture of white, black and American Indian. Now, evidence is emerging which suggests that the Melungeons may have been among America's very first settlers, arriving in Appalachia long before the Northern Europeans.
The name likely comes from the French "melange," a slur most often used by suspicious white neighbors in the days of the Jim Crow South, when African-Americans and anyone with dark skin faced prejudice and segregation.
Researchers have theorized that Melungeons may have been a mixture of European, African and Native Americans. A DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy in 2012 found that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
In the segregated South, any trace of black blood mattered legally. Virginia passed the Racial Integrity Act in 1924, the so-called "one drop" rule that would strip anyone of mixed race from white legal privileges. Melungeons through history were often shunned and pushed off to the edges of the economy.
The conventional wisdom, suggests that Appalachia was settled predominantly by English, Scots and Irish people. But to many, like a certain, Dr Brent Kennedy, that did not appear to be the whole story.
When he began to research his ancestry, Dr Kennedy found evidence that the first people to arrive in Appalachia, were not northern Europeans which includes people from the British Isles, but may have been Ottoman Turks. Portuguese settlers brought Turkish servants with them in the 16th Century.
Sir Francis Drake unloaded hundreds of other Turks after he liberated them from the Spanish in 1587. Blood typing has confirmed close similarities between present day Melungeons and people of the Mediterranean region.
What has now become known as the Kennedy theory is that these people pushed inland and settled down with American Indian women, to begin life as farmers. With his team of researchers, Dr Kennedy has found hundreds of words in local Indian dialects that have almost the same meaning in Turkish or Arabic. The Cherokee word for mother for example, is Ana Ta. In Turkish, the word for mother is also Ana-Ta.
Dr Kennedy says the word Melungeon is derived from the Arabic "Melun-Jinn" meaning one who has been abandoned by god - a cursed soul.
His theory is that when white settlers arrived in the region and saw that these dark skinned people had already taken the best land in the valleys, they pushed them out and into the high mountain ridges where Melungeons live to this day. The word Melungeon was considered a racial epithet, and the specter of the dark people of the mountains was used by Appalachian mothers to scare their children into good behavior.
In the segregated South, local bureaucrats described Melungeons as mongrels and half -breeds, and they were classified black and denied education or the right to vote. Others moved away in the hope of escaping the racism of the South. Those who stayed kept to themselves.
Melungeons have filtered into all aspects of American society. Researchers claim that Elvis Presley and Ava Gardner may both have had a Melungeon heritage.
Brent Kennedy has received death threats from those who feel he is slurring their name by denying their Scots-Irish heritage.
But for many younger Melungeons, the idea that they may be linked to some of the very first settlers in the new world 400 years ago, has given them a stronger sense of identity, in a country which has forced them to hide it for centuries.
Edited mostly from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/24/melungeon-mountaineers-mixed-race/29252839/ and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/384502.stm

Votes1 DateJan 13, 2017

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North America

Patriotism in the United States

Samuel Posin
Today I attended a special musical celebration in my town honoring Independence Day in the United States, otherwise known as Fourth of July. What I experienced was phenomenal. Individuals from all walks of life, ages, religions and political beliefs were attending an event that was fun, orderly, appreciative and symbolic of what this wonderful country is all about. People coming together to listen and participate in the songs of the United States' various military services,patriotic hymns and nostalgic ditties signified the great love most US citizens hold for our country.
Much of the news is filled with controversy, disasters and crime stories. Included in today's presentation was allotted time to describe a non-profit benefienciary agency of the event as well as remembering to keep in our prayers those who experienced flooding and loss of home and loved ones in southern West Virginia 3 weeks ago.
In cities and towns through out the United States, today was a day of special celebration for the freedom, prosperity, opportunity and extraordinary blessing that The Almighty has bestowed upon us during the last 240 years.
Remember to appreciate what this country or any country in which you reside gives you the postive abilities and opportunities to live and succeed.
We,as citizens of one of the most fortunate of countries, have the opportunity to reflect on our place in this world.

Votes1 DateJul 4, 2016

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North America

Olmo Ling July Events

Olmo Ling
Ancient Tibetan Thrul Khor Yoga Retreat
With Tempa Dukte Lama and Geshe Chhembel Gurung
July 30-31 at Olmo Ling Bon Center, 1101 Greenfield Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Join us for a special weekend Workshop on the ancient Tibetan Yoga practice of Thrul Khor, the “wheel of miracles”, with Tempa Lama and Geshe Chhembel. Thrul Khor is the training of harmonizing our body, mind and energy. The harmonious state of our being is a manifestation of joy, peace and prosperity of our body, mind and energy. This state manifests when we clear obstacles, obscurations and blockages of our energy, as well as blockages of mental clarity and wisdom due to agitation, dullness and drowsiness. Thrul Khor utilizes gentle physical movement, breathing and visualization to clear our mind so that we can abide in natural clarity and insight. Through this yogic practice we can transform conditioning that causes disturbances and imbalances in the three humors of wind, bile and phlegm and thus maintain a healthy body.
Mental stability, gentle physical movement and proper circulation of the vital breath will be the focus of this yogic training.
Olmo Ling Monthly Youth Sangha Program – Summer Meeting July 2
The Olmo Ling Youth Sangha meets once a month (during the regular school year) on a Friday evening with activities for both younger (0-10) and older (11-17) children beginning at staggered times. From 6-7PM activities will be geared towards the younger children with the teens welcome to come as well to assist. From 7-8PM activities will become a little more advanced, but related to what has already been taking place with the younger children able to leave if necessary for earlier bedtimes. Parents and friends are always welcome and we specifically request that parents of children birth thru 5 years of age plan on staying. Children 6 and up may be dropped off if they desire more independence although families are always welcome to attend.
The Friday evening Youth Sangha is a mindful way to end the school week and begin the weekend. This Program is free and open to all, and newcomers are always warmly welcome. Gatherings include a snack, meditation, and an art activity such as calligraphy, music & literature or discussions and service projects. Tempa Lama will join some of the sessions to lead creative and mindful activities.
2016 Summer Program: Saturday July 2
We will meet from 6-8PM to print prayer flags. Youth Sangha coordinator Bonnie Weiss will guide the children in meditation, chanting and stories in addition to the block printing. We will also have a potluck for snacks, so please bring something small to share (NO NUTS PLEASE). Tempa Lama will be away traveling.
We will be selling the cloth prayer flags to raise funds for the young nuns at Redna Menling Monastery in India, as well as to help fund the Youth Sangha. We do have all five colors of paper and any family who wants to print a set of these to take home for indoor use will be welcome to do so. As always, if anyone can sew on a machine and is willing to take some sets home to complete by September when we resume regular meetings, your help would be greatly appreciated.
Please RSVP with the Youth Sangha coordinator Bonnie Weiss at Bonnie or 412-877-4049, to ensure adequate materials are available for class as well as to advise about any food allergies or special accommodations that might benefit your child.
Bon Ngondro Retreat with Tempa Lama at Alma Yoga Center
Saturday, July 16, 2016, 9:30am-5pm, Sunday, July 17, 10am-1pm
Alma Yoga, 67 Pennsylvania Avenue, Hancock, NY 13783-1037
During this special weekend, Tempa Lama will continue teaching the ancient Tibetan preliminary Bon practices known as “Ngondro”. He will begin with review of the 1st part, taught last year. If you didn’t participate in last year’s retreat, please feel free to participate this year.
Ngondro practice is very beneficial for our life. It helps us connect deeply with our spiritual teachers and cultivate and stabilize the heart and mind that wish to benefit all beings. Ngondro is a powerful practice for purifying our karmic tendencies and negativities, cleansing our body, speech and mind and preparing us to recognize our true nature.
The Heart Mantra for Healing and Transformation with Tempa Dukte Lama
A Humla Fund event to benefit the Humla medical clinics
Saturday, July 23, 2016, 9:30am-5:30pm
Sruti Berkshire Yoga Center, Great Barrington, MA
In this daylong workshop Tempa Dukte Lama will give the transmission and instruction for the contemplative Tibetan Bon practice of the Heart Mantra, Du Tri Su for healing and transformation. he Heart Mantra is the heart essence of the teaching of the Bon Buddha Tonpa Shenrab.
Public talk with Tempa Lama: The Authentic and Compassionate Self Revealed
Thursday July 28, 7pm.
Shaler North Hills Library, 1822 Mt Royal Blvd, Glenshaw, PA 15116.
Join us for a public talk with Tempa Lama in the Art and Inspiration series at Shaler North Hills Library, entitled “The Authentic and Compassionate Self Revealed”. The Art and Inspiration series is facilitated by artist William Rock as a forum for artists, poets, writers and musicians to discuss creativity and dialogue on the ways in which creativity and spirituality inform each other.
Suggested donation: $5.
To Learn More About Any Program, please visit:
www.OlmoLing.org
Tempa and the Olmo Ling Staff and Community Thank You

Votes2 DateJun 30, 2016

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North America

Lincoln's Jewish Generals

One World Blue, LLC
Reference:
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- AT the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, the United States Army was pitifully small.
It consisted of 1,108 officers and 15,269 enlisted men. Of the thousand-odd officers, more than a third resigned their posts to join the Confederacy. To lead the millions of men who ultimately fought in the Civil War would take a lot of generals, and ultimately more than 1000 were appointed by the Union alone. Of these, at least seven were Jewish.
The Civil War produced the most renowned generals in American history. No other war before or since then has even come close. Apart from Teddy Roosevelt - and he was only a colonel - do we remember even one general of the Spanish-American War? Besides Pershing and, perhaps, MacArthur, most Americans are hard-pressed to name another American general of WWI fame.
The Civil War, on the other hand, produced Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip Sheridan, George Custer, George McClellan, and Ambrose Burnside, to name just a few well-known Union commanders.
The Jewish generals in the Union Army were not well-known and almost have been lost from the history books. The highest ranking Jewish officer in the Union Army was Hungarian-born Major General Frederick Knefler. He was commander of the 79th Indiana regiment. Knefler was promoted to brigadier general for his performance at the Battle of Chickamauga and then to major general during his service with Sherman on his march through Georgia.
Leopold Blumenberg was a lieutenant in the Prussian Army in 1848. Because of antisemitism he immigrated to the United States in 1854. An avowed abolitionist, he narrowly escaped lynching by a secessionist mob in Baltimore in early April 1861. With the start of the war, Blumenberg helped organize the Maryland Volunteer Regiment and fought with it in the Peninsular campaign.
He was severely wounded in the Battle of Antietam in 1862, and subsequently was appointed a brevet brigadier general. A brevet military appointment is a commission usually granted as an honor, carrying the rank of the new office but without an increase in pay or authority. Many officers were given brevet commissions during the Civil War.
There were actually two ways of being appointed a general during this period. The first was through politics, where men were appointed because of their political influence rather than their military ability. Most of these "generals" proved to be costly misfits for the Union forces. The second method of assuming a general's office was through winning their stars on the battlefield by superior performance. Fortunately, all the Jewish generals described here attained their high rank through the latter procedure.
One Jewish officer who only made it to general's rank posthumously was Lieutenant Colonel Leopold Newman of New York. He distinguished himself at the First Battle of Bull Run, which was a defeat for the Union. Newman was subsequently severely wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863, and he died in a Washington hospital before President Abraham Lincoln could present him with a commission to brigadier general.
Perhaps the most notable of the Jewish generals was Edward S. Salomon of Illinois. Salomon emigrated from Germany to Chicago in 1854, where he became a law clerk and a minor functionary in the newly formed Republican Party. He was elected to the Chicago City Council at the age of 24, the youngest member of that body.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Salomon enlisted in the 25th Illinois Infantry as a second lieutenant and won quick promotions for battlefield bravery. At Gettysburg in 1863, he was colonel in command of the 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which had over 100 Jewish personnel. His unit fought at Cemetery Ridge and was one of the principal Union forces which successfully repulsed Pickett's charge. Salomon received a commendation for bravery and was breveted a brigadier general.
Salomon served with General Sherman in the Battle for Atlanta and was cited as "one of the most deserving officers." After the war he led his men in a six-hour victory parade in Washington D.C., a commanding general at the age of 29.
President Ulysses S. Grant recognized Salomon's administrative capabilities and, in 1869, appointed him as governor of the Territory of Washington, where he served with distinction for four years. After leaving his post, Salomon settled in San Francisco. He was the district attorney of San Francisco County and twice served in the California legislature, devoting most of his life to public service.
Brigadier General Alfred Mordechai graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1861, following in his father's footsteps. He joined the Army of Northeastern Virginia and received high commendations for his conduct at the Battle of Bull Run. He became the chief ordnance officer in several Union regiments and, in 1865, was appointed instructor of ordnance at West Point.
Among the other Jewish generals in the Union forces were Phineas Horowitz of Baltimore, who was appointed surgeon general of the Navy during the war, and General William Meyer of New York, who received a letter of thanks from President Lincoln for his efforts during the New York draft riots. There were no Jewish generals with the Confederate forces during the Civil War, but that's another tale.
Jewish historian, cultural maven, and JWR contributor Herb Geduld lives in Cleveland.

Votes2 DateMay 24, 2016

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