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Posted on Thu, Nov 26, 2009 : 6 a.m.

Children's folk music duo Gemini's multicultural perspective in song coming to The Ark on Sunday

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

For years, my children have started their day in different classes with different teachers at the University of Michigan Children’s Center singing the Gemini song, “Hello Hello Hello, Hi Hi Hi, Hello Hello Hello, Hi!” The song goes on to introduce different ways of saying hello in French, Chinese, Hebrew, Russian, Japanese, Hindi, more. The neatest thing about this song is that there are always children in the class who actually speak those languages at home, so they are not learning a foreign language so much as they are sharing their family languages with their friends. This becomes a source of pride every morning. And I can always tell when Gemini has visited the school because the children come home singing new songs in new languages—Hebrew, Swahili, Russian...

Children’s folk music duo Gemini is an Ann Arbor treasure. Twin brothers Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits perform catchy sing-along songs, interactive hand-motion songs, funny stories, cool instruments and hearty folk songs from around the world. Children and parents alike cannot help but stand up and dance. They introduce their family culture as well as a unique international (and very Ann Arbor) outlook in their witty original songs.

I mean, could these lines have been written anywhere else? From Sandor Slomovitz’s song, Pizza:

It's no tortilla, ai caramba, or a wiener schnitzel, ja.

Nor baklava, eureka! or a croissant, ooh la la. It doesn't go with champagne, you have it with a Coke. Not fancy schmancy, oi gevalt, but you won't wind up broke.

They also have a song about Gefilte Fish, and of course no one can resist the (Zingerman’s) Deli song.

Gemini’s annual Thanksgiving Weekend Benefit Concert for Mott Children’s Hospital at The Ark comes again this Sunday. From an email message:

Sunday, November 29, 1:00pm, The Ark Coffeehouse, 316 S. Main St. Ann Arbor: Our annual Thanksgiving Weekend Benefit Concert for Mott Children's Hospital. We'll be joined by master musicians and friends Aron Kaufman on percussion and Brian Brill on piano. And our special guest, playing the whole concert with us for the first time, Emily Rose on hot, hot fiddle! Emily, San's daughter, was born and cared for in the Holden NICU of Mott 15 years ago. 734-763-TKTS ·

Here is a 5-minute video of Gemini on YouTube:

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at