Hello, Ovid! Я вам не скажу про всю Одессу…

I am only doing a bi-lingual post twice: as they say in Odessa, “the first time which is already the last.” I am only doing it because of a phenomenal blogger and a wonderful blogofriend Brigitta Moro who magically blogs in Russian and Ukrainian and who has shared very thorough, research-based information about April 1 right here.  ” I won’t tell you about the entire Odessa,” as we sing, but, dear Brigitta, as promised, on April 1, I am declaring an official protest on behalf of The International Club of Odessites because our Humorina did not make it into your fabulous post.

Я публикую двуязычный пост только два раза: как говорят в Одессе, “первый и уже последний.” И это только благодаря феноменальному блогеру и блого-приятельнице Бригитте Моро, которая волшебно пишет на Русском и Украинском языках, и которая опубликовала весьма детальную и научно обоснованную статью о Первом Апреля. “Я вам не скажу за всю Одессу,” как поется, но дорогая Бригитта, как я и обещала, сегодня, 1-го aпреля, я выражаю официальный протест от имени Международного Клуба Одесситов, так как наша Юморина не была упомянута в Вашей замечательной статье.

duke and club pins As a card-caring, or rather, pin-wearing member of this illustrious club, I am meeting the challenge to tell you, Beautiful People, about the history of the funniest holiday of all.

Как полноправный член этого прославленного клуба (значок на фото), я  принимаю вызов, Милые Друзья, осветить историю самого смешного праздника в мире.

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The concept of humor was born in Odessa two thousand years ago, when the Roman poet Ovid, kicked out into exile by Emperor Augustus for cracking too many jokes, buried his toes in warm Odessa sand. There, if you believe one of the many Odessa legends, he wrote his Metamorphoses.

Юмор родился в Одессе две тысячи лет тому назад, когда Римский поэт Овидий, вытуренный в ссылку императором Августом за неуместные шутки, почувствовал под босыми ступнями теплый Одесский песочек. Там, если верить одной из многих Одесских легенд, он и написал Метаморфозы.

There, by the Black Sea, “the deepest blue sea in the world,” we lived and breathed humor for centuries, until, in 1972, the Soviet censors banned the glorious  – and funniest! – Odessa KVN team (KVN is the abbreviation for Club of Witty and Inventive, the famous student competition TV show, still going strong after almost 60 years!), together with the entire KVN competition system nationwide. But student teams kept cracking jokes, and it happened, of course, in Odessa, that the former KVN team came up with the idea to conduct a humor festival on April Fools Day – April 1st.  The name Humorina was suggested by Oleg Stashkevich; years later, during the turbulent 90s, I asked him to sort of shepherd my son, who was presenting at a conference, around in Moscow. I am tremendously grateful to Oleg for immersing my 23-year old “American child” into Odessa culture and Odessa humor!

Tам, у Черного Моря, “самого синего в мире,” мы жили и дышали юмором много столетий, пока однажды, в 1972 году, советские цензоры не запретили блестящую – и самую смешную! – Одесскую команду КВН (объяснять КВН для русскоговорящих не надo, я надеюсь), заодно с КВН по всей стране. Но неуемные студенты продолжали шутить, и, разумеется, именно в Одессе у бывшей команды КВН возникла идея фестиваля юмора в День Дурака – 1 Апреля. Название “Юморина” предложил член команды Олег Сташкевич; через много лет, в бурные 90-е,  я попросила его присмотреть за моим сыном, который выступал на конференции в Москве. Я бесконечно благодарна Олегу за то, что он сумел погрузить моего двадцатитрехлетнего Американского ребенка в Одесскую культуру и Одесский юмор.

Image result for Odessa humor images

I was a witness and an enthusiastic participant in the first four Humorinas, 1973 – 1976, when revelers were buying jars labeled “Pure Odessa Air collected on the boulevard, near Pushkin monument, on April 1, at 4 PM.” The official version states that the festival was banned due to a huge, unmanageable influx of visitors. Possibly, but perhaps the edict came down because crowds had been stopping cars, demanding that the driver tell a joke, and when one of them refused, they started rocking his car, eventually flipping it upside down.

Я была свидетелем и активным участником четырех первых Юморин, с 1973 по 1976 год, когда веселые толпы покупали банки с этикеткой “Чистый одесский воздух, набранный на бульваре, возле Пушкина, 1го апреля в 4 часа дня.” Согласно официальной версии, праздник запретили из-за огромного притока гостей, с которым городские власти не могли справиться. Возможно, но может быть приказ был вызван тем, что толпы шутников останавливали проходящие автомобили, требуя шутки от водителей. Когда один из водителей отказался шутить, его машину начали раскачивать и в коце концов перевернули.

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The uncooperative driver turned out to be a high government official (I do not know who is to be credited with this precious photo). The festival was reinstated in 1987, imbued with the spirit of Perestroika (the impending fall of communist regime), and taken over by the International Club of Odessites, founded and ably led for almost 30 years by The Ambassador of Humor himself – Mikhail Zhvanetsky, in 1991 (may he rest in peace).

Упрямый водитель оказался “большой шишкой при советской власти” (не знаю, кого благодарить за эту драгоценную фотографию). Праздник возобновили в 1987 году, на пороге перестройки. В 1991 году организацию фестиваля взял на себя Международный Клуб Одесситов, основателем и бессменным президентом которого почти 30 лет был сам Посол Юмора – Михаил Михайлович Жванецкий (да покоится с миром).

Zhvanetsky.jpg

This vignette comes from an invitation to Zhvanetsky’s 70’s birthday party in New York, after his jubilee concert in Carnegie Hall in 2004. Never have I seen so many Odessites gathered in one place to pay tribute to the inimitable genius of humor! A few months ago Mikhail Mikhailovich has left this world, and the loss is mourned by millions of people who adored this brilliant man, his unique view of the world and the events in it, and his biting satire.

Эта виньетка украсила приглашение на празднование 70-летия Жванецкого в Нью Йорке, после его юбилейного концерта в Карнеги Холле в 2004 году. Я никогда не видела такого количества Одесситов, которые собрались вместе, чтобы чествовать гениального юмориста! Несколько месяцев тому назад  Михаил Михайлович  покинул наш бренный мир, и эта потеря оплакивается миллионами  людей которые обожали этого блестящего человека, его уникальный взгляд на мир и события в нем, и его злую сатиру.В 2017, день 1-го апреля был провозглашен в Одессе официальным выходным, Днем Юморины.

Playing cards

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the funny “Humorina money” I had brought from Odessa in 1995, but I do have a deck of playing cards, with Kings, Queens, and Jacks of Humor portrayed in the best roles. This is my opportunity to pay tribute to friends who are no longer with us: the unforgettable Mikhail Vodyanoy as Mishka Yaponchik in the musical, my first after Perestroika guests “from there” Vitya Il’chenko and Roma Kartcev (we lost Roma a couple of years ago), and the famous marvelous Zinoviy Gerdt as Panikovskiy in “The Golden Calf.”

К сожалению, я не нашла забавные “деньги” выпущенные на Юморину (монета стоимостью “Один Жванецкий”, и т.д.) которые привезла из Одессы в 1995 году, но сохранилась колода карт с карикатурами на Королей, Дам, и Вальтов юмора в их лучших ролях. Пользуясь этой возможностью, хочу помянуть друзей, которые нас покинули: незабываемый Михаил Григорьевич Водяной, звезда Одесской оперетты и кино в роли Мишки Япончика, мои первые “после -перестроечные гости “оттуда” Витя Ильченко и Рома Карцев (пару лет тому назад мы потеряли Рому), и знаменитый, бесподобный Зиновий Гердт – Паниковский в Золотом Теленке. Светлая им память!

my Shabbos table

And if you ask what this collection of pictures has to do with the topic of this post, it’s only another vital part of Odessa culture: we don’t take anything seriously, other than food. Yes, we in Odessa, love to eat, and our food is tasty, beautiful, and plentiful. You see a collage of photos of my Shabbos table, taken by a darling neighbor, artist-photographer Maria Lankina. You didn’t expect me to publish a post without recipes, did you? Even on April Fools Day I wouldn’t do it to you, Beautiful People! As it is customary in Odessa, there are so many appetizers on the table that you can hardly see the table itself (click on links to see recipes):

И если вы спросите, что этот набор картинок имеет общего с темой поста, то это всего лишь еще одна важная составная часть Одесской культуры: мы ни к чему не относимся серьезно, кроме еды. Да, мы в Одессе любим покушать, вкусно, красиво, и много. Перед вами коллаж фотографий моего Субботнего стола, выполненных милой соседкой, художником-фотографом Марией Ланкиной (из Петербурга, но тоже хороший человек!). Вы же не думали, что я сочиню пост без рецептов? Да я такого себе не позволю даже 1-го апреля, Господа Хорошие! Перефразируя классика, “Ви хочете рецептов? Их есть у меня!” Как и положено в Одессе, на столе столько закусок, что и стола не видно (не стесняйтесь, нажимайте на сноски):

Salads and appetizers, which vary slightly from week to week, are followed by soup, main course, and dessert (those are mostly different every week).

Салат и закуски немного меняются каждую неделю, для разнообразия. За ними следует суп, горячее блюдо, и сладкое, которые меняются гораздо чаще.

If you tend to believe everything in this post, please take another look at your calendar. The recipes are tried and true, though, and the dates and facts pertaining to Humorina are real. Other than that, it’s your choice…

Если вы верите всему, что написано выше, пойдите посмотрите на дату в календаре. Рецепты настоящие, проверенные, и все даты и факты, касающиеся Юморины, достоверны. Остальное – как вы сами решите… “Если ви не верите, можете проверите”, как говорят в Одессе.

59 Comments Add yours

  1. Marion Couvillion says:

    Thanks for making the leap. For the first time in years, I felt that my usual terrible April Fool post just would not be funny this year. I am a very old affecionata of the fun to be had, even penning paper fish to the back of others for Poisson d’avril with my kids. In past years I got myself in a lot of trouble by writing outlandish post that some people foolishly believed~!

    On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 6:40 PM koolkosherkitchen wrote:

    > koolkosherkitchen posted: ” I am only doing a bi-lingual post twice: as > they say in Odessa, “the first time which is already the last.” I am only > doing it because of a phenomenal blogger and a wonderful blogofriend > Brigitta Moro who magically blogs in Russian and Ukrainian and who ” >

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am pleased you liked my post, dear Marion! Thank you so very much for stopping by and commenting. Now, I’d like to you see some of your “outlandish” posts as I love anything outlandinsh. Can I have a link, please?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. ShiraDest says:

    Bilingual posts are a LOT of work, so I’ve decided to just forget all of my languages! Can I start with English?
    🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. LOL It’s your blog, dear Shira; you can do anything you want!
      Much love,
      D

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Aman Behra says:

    Very beautifully represented ideas and what a wonderful article. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, dear Aman.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Now, be truthful, was this published before mid-day?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am always truthful, Derrick. To quote Henry Kissinger, “I always tell the truth, only truth, and never the whole truth.” No, it was published when I got out of the kitchen and before I started class, which was around 5 in the afternoon. Why?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Over here, successful April fool tricks are only said to work up to mid-day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I didn’t know that; thank you for educating me. I’ll try to do better next year.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the collage! Nice article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy! I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀 ❤ 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. CarolCooks2 says:

    Interesting I am sure this was a lot of work..cool collage dear Dolly 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Carol, I have this kind of spread, served like this, table settings and all, every week, to honor the Holy Shabbat. I asked Maria to take one photo of the entire table, with Shabbat candles visible, but as a true artist, she snapped a million of them, send me the best batch and told me to choose. I couldn’t, so I made a collage.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Very nice it is too x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, darling! Your kind words are truly appreciated!

        Like

  7. You certainly put a smile on my face, and made me hungry to try some of those salads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, dear Mimi!

      Like

  8. purpleslob says:

    Such a delight! I always love learning more about Odessa! Poor festival! Cancelled by some humorless government toady. Welcome back!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, my favorite purple person! Every year, when I repeat this post, I think of yet another friend who passed away during the year. None of us are getting any younger, but I’ve lost so many friends already…
      I apologize for waxing maudlin. Won’t do it any more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Yes, the older we are, the more we lose. 😦 You can be maudlin anytime, my dear Kitty Dolly. I have big shoulders, for you to cry on! ❤ (BTW, I love that word, maudlin!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have not right to kvetch (that’s maudlin in Yiddish) because I have promised to myself long time ago that I never will.
        English is not my second language, it’s fourth, in order of acquisition, so I have a peculiar vocabulary – I know that and so do my students.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        WHoa!! I knew you are intelleigent!! 4 languages?? Wow. Russian, YIddish, ……then what before English?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Intelligence has very little to do with it, and most people in Europe speak several languages. At home we spoke Yiddish, Russian was second, German third, English at school, then Ukrainian, which was mandatory at school, Polish because it is so close to Ukrainian, and Hebrew, the language of Torah and prayer.

        Like

      5. purpleslob says:

        Hey, I guessed the first two! Why German? Wow!! Oh yes, it takes intelligence!!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It doesn’t, trust me!
        German because my great-grandmother, who had a degree in German literature from Vienna University (she was from Austria) believed that German classics needed to be read and appreciated in original. In a way she was right because I have rarely seen an adequate translation from German. It’s not an easy language to translate.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. purpleslob says:

        I’m almost jealous of that grandmother, telling you that!! No, and it’s not easy to learn either! My first husband was German.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Did you pick up the language from him?

        Liked by 1 person

      9. purpleslob says:

        Umm, I can say I love you! And NO.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Hey, that’s the essential language skill, more important than ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank you.’

        Liked by 1 person

      11. purpleslob says:

        Very true!! The very first phrase I made sure I learned in Spanish was, “Where is the bathroom?” lol If I ever travel outside the US again, which I hope I don’t!! I will make sure to learn that in whatever language!! And wear diapers!! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      12. LOL I am guessing that your bathroom experience outside the US wasn’t all positive.
        And why do you not want to travel, my favorite purple person? I can’t wait for Covid to be over so I can travel again – I miss Italy and of course, I miss all my relatives in Israel.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. purpleslob says:

        Truthfully, bathroom in Bahamas was much worse! WE were only supposed to flush once a day!!
        Traveling is just so uncomfortable. #1 Motion sickness. #2 Constant need for potty breaks. #3 Don’t have any vehicles that are comfortable enough. #4 I want my own bed!! Enough whining for now.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Flush once a day?!!! Yuck!!
        I think you have traveled in the wrong direction, my favorite purple person!

        Liked by 1 person

      15. purpleslob says:

        It was HORRIFIC!! You may be right! lol

        Liked by 1 person

  9. vovazinger says:

    Большое, большое спасибо. Приятно было вспомнить. Старое, но незабываемое чувство Одессы.

    Like

    1. Огромное Вам спасибо за теплый комментарий. Как сказал мудрый Витя Ильченко, “У тебя нет ностальгии по Одессе; у тебя ностальгия по нашей юности. А Одесса – она всегда с тобой.”

      Like

  10. An outlandish dish and worthy of a bilingual share! I hope you’ve had a great week and ready for a restful weekend! 👌🍂🍮🍮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling!

      Like

  11. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article, Dolly! Sorry, i have to read twice to understand. Need to stock up my vocables. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Which parts were you trying to read, MIchael, English or Russian? LOL
      Thank you for a lovely comment, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LoL – I tried to translate the Russian one too. With the help of Google, it made sense. :-))

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would guess that some of the jokes and play of words were lost in translation, but that could not be helped. I appreciate your effort, Michael!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you very much, Dolly! Yes, its sometimes very difficult getting jokes translated well. Have a nice day! Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You too, dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thank you, Dolly! :-))

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Always my pleasure, Michael.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. :-)) Thank you so much, Dolly! Please also stay save!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. You too, dear Michael, be well and stay safe!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Thank you very much, Dolly! Just getting hardened by ice weather conditions. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Ice weather in April – yuck! I would run away!
        Stay warm, dear Michael!

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Thank you, Dolly! Enjoy your spring. I hope it will be warmer next week. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Well, our spring is from the end of November to about mid-April. The rest of the year is summer, and we are already moving into it.
        I hope it gets warmer for you and start enjoying your spring, Michael.

        Like

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