FaithWorld

Banned Paris “sausage and wine” party goes ahead at Arc de Triomphe

aperogeant1 (Photo: Protesters at the Arc de Triomphe, 18 June 2010/Benoit Tessier)

A “sausage and wine” party went ahead in Paris despite a police ban but was staged near the Arc de Triomphe instead of in a neighbourhood with many Muslim residents as originally planned.  Friday’s event had been criticised as highly provocative because it was planned for the day of weekly Muslim prayers and the World Cup soccer match between England and Algeria, a former French colony that is majority Muslim.

The mayor of Paris had said the event was “clearly inspired by extreme right-wing movements.” Paris police banned the party in the multiethnic Goutte d’Or neighbourhood because it risked sparking disturbances. The French daily Le Parisien estimated that 600 to 800 people gathered on the Champs Elysées near the Arc de Triomphe to eat pork sausages and drink wine at what organisers called a “giant cocktail party.”

The event was announced on Facebook late last month and drew criticism from politicians and civic groups because the Facebook page contained thinly veiled anti-Muslim slogans.  A similar party planned for a largely Muslim area of Lyon in eastern France was cancelled after pressure from the police, the organiser said on the event’s Facebook page.

Read the full story here.

aperogeant2 (Photo: Protester (in tan hat)  waves pork sausage at a “sausage and wine party” on 18 June 2010/Benoit Tessier)

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Paris bans open-air “sausage & wine party” over Muslim concerns

sausageA giant “sausage and wine” party planned later this week in a Paris neighbourhood with many Muslim residents risks sparking disturbances and will therefore be banned, police in the French capital announced on Tuesday.

The event, announced on the social networking site Facebook late last month (see page here in French), had drawn growing criticism from politicians and civic groups in recent days as its page containing barely disguised anti-Muslim slogans attracted over 7,000 members. (Photo: French sausages on display at the Paris International Farm Show, February 28, 2004/Charles Platiau)

The event, called an “apéro géant” (giant cocktail party), was due on Friday.  The main organiser, Sylvie François, wrote that she wanted the event to be “a joyous protest” against the closing down of roads in the Goutte d’Or neighbourhood every Friday by Muslims praying in the street outside the overcrowded mosque there. The Facebook page also appeared to signal the party’s thrust with appeals to “native Parisians” and complaints about “the resolute foes of our local wines and pork products.”

Serbian Orthodox bishop extols the virtues of quality wine

trebinjeThe Serbian Orthodox Church’s Bishop Grigorije of the diocese of Zahumlje and Herzegovina is not only a prominent figure in the Church who’s seen as a possible candidate for Patriarch. He is also a major vinter whose operations have earned praise and good money for quality wines.His Tvrdos Monastery, located in Trebinja in southern Bosnia, produces 500,000 bottles of wine per year and exports it to Serbia, Montenegro and even further afield to Germany, the United States, Switzerland and other countries. “It is a very good business, but it is very difficult,” he said during the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God late last month. “It is good, but it is very difficult because we have wine from Italy, France, Spain.”
(Photo: Bishop Grigorije leads service at Trvdos Monastery, 28 Aug 2009/Adam Tanner)

The Trvdos Monastery also has a minority partnership with a Serbian-American investor who owns 440 hectares of Trebinje land, of which 200 are now vineyards, an unusual tie up between the Church and profit-seeking investor (click here to see that story).The monastery’s wine, which they sell for six euros a bottle but can retail for 30 euros in a restaurant, was available in ample amount during a late morning feast of fish and vegetarian dishes. Believers from Trebinje, Bosnia’s southernmost town of about 30,000 people, crowded onto benches around long tables to enjoy the meal.Although other Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches grow wine (and monks and priests privately say food and wine is one of the few indulgences afforded them), Bishop Grigorije said the Tvrdos operation is the largest.  “Wine, it is very good for people, it is so good,” said the bishop, who as a boy picked grapes in this largely Serbian region of southern Bosnia. “If you drink wine, and you don’t drink too much, you will be so happy and so healthy.”treb2“If you drink bad wine, you are going to feel bad.  All the southern people, Italians, French, Spanish are so much happier than the Germans, the Czechs, as they are drinking so much wine!”The Trvdos Monastery wine production came to a halt in the 1990s Bosnian war and restarted a decade ago. Every year they are boosting production by 15,000 bottles and they recently took out about a two million euro loan to buy a series of shiny new Italian Defranceschi 30,000 litre wine storage tanks, Grigorije said. After some time in those tanks the wine goes into hundred-year old barrels to acquire the wine’s hardy, full-bodied flavour.In grape-growing and wine-making, you have to have a little faith, Grigorije said, because so much depends on uncontrollable factors such as the weather: “The most difficult thing is if we won’t have grapes – it is in the hands of God.”
(Photo: Lunch at Tvrdos Monastery, 28 Aug 2009/Adam Tanner)

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Wine and faith link shows on new Reuters wine page

kosher-wine1

Reuters.com now has a new page called World of Wine dedicated to our articles about the fruit of the vine. Although the page has no link to religion, wine does to some faiths — and it shows here.

Among the first few articles listed on the page is a recent feature on wine and Judaism — “Kosher wines pouring out of the religious niche.” The photo with the feature (seen above) shows Rabbi Yair Didi, who supervises production of kosher wines at the ‘Cantina di Pitigliano’ winery, sampling a glass in the Italian town of Pitigliano in Tuscany (26 March 2007/Daniele La Monaca).

And the top picture on the page shows Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd presenting a six-bottle case of white wine from Down Under to Pope Benedict. Wine plays a central part in the Catholic Mass, but Rudd suggested the pontiff might drink this dessert wine “here in the Vatican on a warm summer’s night.” The photo is copied below (9 July 2009/Pier Paolo Cito).