22 September 2019 - 23 Elul 5779 - כ"ג אלול ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Arts & Culture
6th International Rondalla Festival celebrates plucked-string instruments E-mail

More than 300 pluckedstring musicians from a host of countries, including Israel, are gathering in Silay City in the province of Negros Occidental, the Philippines, for the 6th annual International Rondalla Festival, which runs from 3 to 11 November.

The nine-day plucked-string festival, dubbed “Cuerdas Sang Paghili-usa” (Strings of Unity), is a collaborative undertaking of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts through the National Music Competitions for Young Artists Foundation and the Musicological Society of the Philippines. It has been held every three years since 2004, and is hosted by major cities in the Philippines and Taiwan.

Participating in the festival this year are musicians from Israel, China, India, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, France and the Philippines.

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New Zealand activists fined over cancelled Lorde concert E-mail

An Israeli court last month ordered two New Zealand women to pay over US$12,000 in damages for allegedly helping to persuade the pop singer Lorde to cancel a performance in Tel Aviv in June this year.

The suit was filed under a law that allows civil suits against anyone who calls for a boycott against Israel. The ruling is believed to be the first time the 2011 law has been applied, The Associated Press reported. The two New Zealanders, Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, had appealed to the singer in an open letter to “join the artistic boycott of Israel” and cancel her performance. Lorde acknowledged the letter and cancelled her show last December.

Three teenage ticketholders in Israel filed the suit, claiming the cancellation had caused emotional distress. Their lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Shurat HaDin advocacy group, said the decision sends a message that “no one can boycott Israel without paying for it”.

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Israeli artifacts on display in China E-mail

A new international exhibition titled “Bronze Age Mesopotamia and the Chengdu Plain”, which opened in China on 21 October, includes Israeli historical artifacts displayed in the country for the first time.

Hosted at the Sichuan University Museum, the exhibition focuses on the two ancient civilisations that developed at the opposite extremities of Asia: Mesopotamia in the Middle East and the Chendu Valley in East Asia. Scholars define the Bronze Age as taking place between 3,300 BCE to 1,200 BCE.

The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem – the only one of its kind dedicated to the history of the Ancient Near East from a biblical perspective has loaned 15 artifacts to the exhibit.

Through objects such as cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals and a statuette made of precious blue lapis lazuli, visitors discover the way of life, the royal institutions and the rituals that characterised the ancient Mesopotamian civilisation. The exhibition also includes dozens of artifacts on loan from various museums in China and from the Yale Peabody Museum in the US.

The exhibit has been constructed in such a way to offer visitors a comparative view of two Bronze Age civilisations – separated by 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles) – and in regions that witnessed the development of rich cultures.

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