Hak Pak Sak

Stephen Lewis on Infrastructure, Identity, Communication, and Change

About Hak Pak Sak

Hak Pak Sak comments on infrastructure, identity, communication, and change.

The name Hak Pak Sak comes from an old Dutch-Jewish saying: “Jiddische meloekhe — hak, pak, sak.”    In Dutch, hak, pak, and sak mean, respectively, the butcher’s ax, the peddlar’s pack, and the rag picker’s sack. Thus, the saying translates as: “Jewish occupations — ax, pack, sack.”

At the start of the 19th century most Jews in the Netherlands made their livings as butchers, peddlars, and rag pickers. By the early 20th century, however, Dutch Jews had transformed themselves into doctors, lawyers, merchants, scholars, civil servants, craftsmen, industrial workers, labor leaders, artists, and athletes — a blossoming that came to a tragic end in Europe’s retrograde barbarism and culmination of exclusionary nationalism  during the Second Wold War.

In this light, Hak Pak Sak is dedicated to exploring transformations in the world of work and permutations in concepts of individual and group identities.

For more information, write to Stephen Lewis at Hak.Pak.Sak@Gmail.Com.

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