Cultural Community Reflections
I don’t remember the knives but the smells are still sharp, and part of the memories. Growing up Black in Little Burgundy: did I grow up Black, or did I grow up and become Black? Where did it all begin? My experiences of being Black-are entwined with my sense of belonging, of community.
It was a multi-ethnic community, with Chinese families sharing my street with French families. And right around my corner was a whole new world: Italian neighbours who lived in their own enclave with smells of wine, spices and other herbs I still don’t have words for.
An integral part of Montreal’s linguistic Mosaic is an institution that began its existence here in the early days of the 1930’s Depression. Like the country, it has grown in size, sophistication, and linguistic variety, and it has experienced difficulties, but always its purpose has been the intellectual growth and integration of the individual into the (Anglophone) community, the province and the nation. It has also, of course, exported its product internationally for worldwide benefit.
The above is the kitschy slogan of Montreal's most unusual new radio station, CJRS -- Radio Shalom, at 1650 on the a.m. dial. What is more unusual is that CJRS is North America's only full-time Jewish station. For 24 hours a day, 6 days a week (we're off the air for the Sabbath) a multiplicity of Jewish sounds cascades from our studios near Montreal's landmark Orange Julep.