Secret Languages (a poetry reading)

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WhoClaudia Paraschiv

Description: “The number of foreign-born residents of Boston increased by nearly 20 percent from 2000 to 2014″, according to a report from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.” Like food, language is an essential element of culture. Immigrants use their native language in their adopted country out of necessity and as a way to maintain the connection with their country of birth, their friends and family, and a part of themselves. Immigration enables the weaving together of different languages and voices in large communities, and amongst family members. Among the sounds in a city, the chatter of foreign languages can seduce or threaten the listener. Speaking a language in public that differs from the dominant tongue can feel like a super power or a liability. We are often aware that we don’t understand the meaning of what is said in a foreign tongue, but how often do we listen to the pure sound of a language we don’t understand? Poetry showcases languages and stubbornly resists translation; through poetry we can appreciate these human sounds full of mysterious meaning. Secret Languages is an open-mic poetry session that invites participants to recite a poem in their native language as we listen.

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