By Stephanie Hughes
The word “Kefi,” meaning “fun” or “joy” in Greek, Armenian, and Hebrew inspired three Ryerson student culture groups to host an ethnic art presentation Thursday.
Kefi is a collaboration between the Hellenic Students Association (HSA), the Armenian Students Association (ASA), and Hillel, a Jewish organization operating at York, U of T, and Ryerson. Students Supporting Israel is another Ryerson-based initiative backing the project.
Presenters like Kalman Weiser, a U of T humanities professor, described the common art history between the cultures. Music producer Leigh Cline and Nurhan Arman – music director of Canada’s Sinfonia Toronto – spoke about their culture’s folk music origins starting from ancient roots to modern day.
Campus relations director Ani Dergalstanian stressed the importance of unity and diversity in this event and others like it. “The focus of this was the music, so we chose experts.”
Each presenter spoke of their respective culture in the trifecta: Weiser talked about his Jewish grandmother’s cooking, Cline provided musical history of various cultures, and Arman told the story of an Armenian musician.
“This event is essentially a collaboration of different ethnic backgrounds,” said Ruchie Shainhouse, president of Hillel Ryerson, “It’s rich in art and tonight we’re exploring the academic portion.”
Shainhouse, like Dergalstanian and HSA president Fotis Karantonis were enthusiastic about the collaboration.
“It was a long time in the planning process. We’re already on great terms with other associations… We think everyone will walk away from this more educated,” said Karantonis.