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One of the first things I used to tell people back in the States, when I was growing up and if we were becoming friends, was that I was an immigrant, and the child of immigrants, and that made me a bit odd.

An early and strong reminder of just this happened in sophomore year of high school, in European History class, when we got to the Russian Revolution. We started talking about Rasputin, and I chirped up “oh, the guy who was sleeping with Alexandra!” The entire class turned to me with.. quizzical.. looks on their faces. In an attempt to explain, I dug my hole deeper – “You know! From the song! Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen.”

A little background at this point is necessary. My parents grew up in Israel in the 1970s, when the band above, Boney M, was popular. This is not surprising to most Europeans reading this, since Boney M was popular also in that neck of the woods. Boney M, needless to say, did not really make it in the States. Americans have not heard of Boney M, nor any of the band’s songs. Therefore, when I attempted to reference a borderline crude song in history class, Sister Helen was not so amused. And thus, my immigrant experience.

However, most of the rest of the world knows who Boney M is. Thus, my excitement when, this evening, a blogger I follow out of Egypt tweeted simply

ra ra rasputinto which I, and several others, responded with various follow-up lyrics

reply II


And just like that, on a Friday evening, from the comfort of my couch, I’m reminiscing on bad 70s music with people throughout the Middle East.

Shabbat shalom~