Pleased to announce that my old classmate and archrival friend, the amazing Nehad Khader (who I went to both high school and college with) is the progenitor of Tatreez: Palestinian Women’s Embroidery in Philadelphia. (More on tatreez here.)The exhibit, which is being shown by the Philadelphia Folklore Project, opens June 5. Check it out, it looks fantastic.
And on a sidenote, what an amazing idea. The idea that the culture of immigrant Americans is worth preserving. *Gasp. Which reminds me, I need to ensure my family’s traditions stay preserved.
“I feel like such a cultural anthropologist as a I watch my extended family at play. It’s disheartening to think that in another 20 years, very little if any of the traditions they brought as immigrants to America will remain. Even now, the language and nuances are often lost to us younger ones. Interviewing my family both here and in Kansas would be such a great legacy. Everyone from my grandfather who fought in WWII (???? exactly), to my uncle who’s been assembling airplane parts for the last 40 years has a great story to tell.”
Khader’s exhibit reminds me of the harmonium. Every time my mother’s extended family gathers, there’s a party. A party that involves jamming with the harmonium. (Which was brought to India by French missionaries, what???) My grandfather plays it. My uncles play it. My brothers don’t. In fact, nobody under 30 does at this point. It’s a dying tradition. Unless my uncles teach their kids to play it, Pakistani-American harmonium playing will be gone. (And right now the kids, all whom are quite musically talented, want to be rock stars. Like my cousin here.) And that makes me sad. Because I like the harmonium. But that’s just the way things are. Until you start changing things. Like Nehad. My hat goes off to you, miss!