Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hava Nagila

Aly Raisman's gold medal floor exercise routine was set to the Israeli folk song Hava Nagila.

The music dates from a 19th century Ukrainian shtetl. Words were added in Jerusalem in 1918 to celebrate the British victory over the Ottoman Turks. The original Hebrew lyrics are simple and translate thus:
Hava Nagila ~ Let's Rejoice
ve nishmeha ~ and be happy
Hava Neranenah ~ Let's Sing
Uru, uru ahim ~ Awake, awake brothers
Be lev sameah ~ With a happy heart
The Horah is the dance traditionally performed with Hava Nagila at Jewish celebrations including weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. It is Israeli, dating back only to 1924, and descends from Romanian/Gypsy folk dance.

Given recent events, this blending of an Israeli Horah with a Punjabi (Sikh) Bhangra is particularly poignant.

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