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Mauro in Israel Day 1.5: Punk Rock Chicks Dancing Next to Those Barely Able to Sway

Posted on August 3 2010 1:00 pm
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Thank you to Stand With Us’ Once in a Lifetime contest for making this trip possible!

Jet lag is the Devil. I slept all day, so now I am up all night. Tomorrow may result in hospitalization from having too many energy shots.

As I was blogging last time, I was on my way to the International Arts and Crafts Festival in Jerusalem, an annual event where groups from different countries set up booths showing off their culture and well, arts and crafts. But there’s also a big stadium where the most popular Israeli artists play. And it was there I noticed something about Israel I hadn’t before: Their cultural unity.

On the surface, Israel is a never-ending culture clash. You have Jewish Israelis, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians (who are likewise divided), Orthodox and secular Jews, and the list goes on and on. The festival’s headlining artist though, whose name I cannot be expected to remember, resulted in a remarkable show of cultural unity. Old and middle-aged people dancing (meaning swayed side to side) next to young adults, who were next to teenagers that dress as if they hate the world. In the U.S., you’ll be hard-pressed to go to a concert that is so equally divided among demographics.

In a few hours, we’ll be off to meet the Mayor of Jerusalem and will go on a tour of the city. At night, we’ll be at a wine festival at a museum. But before I sign off, a quick reply to two commentators on my last blog: As much as I laugh at jokes that denigrate women (or really anyone as long as it’s in good fun), I actually was saying it was a good thing to have a chatty and cute girl next to me on the flight. Made the time pass more quickly. There’s a fine line between being social and talking too much—I know it exists because I cross it on an hourly basis.

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