Yemenite culture in Israel .
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Hailing from one of the oldest Jewish cultures on the globe, Yemenite Jews are fiercely proud of their heritage.
This is why 31 years ago Gideon Malachi created the Timaniyada. A music and culture festival celebrating Yemeni traditions and Mizrahi music.
Having been born to a father who sang in Yemenite Arabic and sent off to the famously strict mori
[teacher of young children], Malachi was infused with an appreciation of Yemenite culture from birth. “I also come from Rosh HaAyin”, he joked in phone conversation with the Jerusalem Post
, ”the so-called capital of the Yemenite in Israel.”
The festival held annually in Eilat has grown from a small event serving a few hundred to a massive cultural event that attracts thousands of people, with some people even booking flights from New York and Los Angles just to attend.
This year, Yemeni culture will be celebrated with Yemenite costumes, traditional foods, and a special Shabbat custom called Ghala
, which is essentially a Yemenite version of the American potluck dinner, a community event in which each person brings his or her own food and the group shares each others' treats.
“Perhaps you shouldn’t mention that,” laughs Malachi, “people will use it against us and say Yemenite people are cheap.”
The festival this year features noted Israeli performers Eyal Golan and Static and Ben El Tavori.
The 31’th Timaniyada will be held in Eilat from August 27 – 30.