Friday, February 3, 2017

And a happy Rooster to you, too

Lunar New Year in Chinatown. We joined the throng, even though we were really on a mission for tropical fruit to take to dinner that night. It was incredible to stand in that friendly crowd and to think about Donald Trump's lunatic proclamations. This epitome of an immigrant's celebration made the airport detentions and immigrant bans all the more absurd.

Stone faced NYPD escorted every dragon dancing troop. 

Children perched high. 

As we moved from the main processions' heart the streets thinned a little. We considered dumplings at our favourite Dim Sum Go Go but did not feel like waiting and moved on to shop under the Manhattan Bridge, where I bought longans and rambutans and dragon fruit.

Everywhere confetti and ribbons popped and showered.

Supper was with good friends, one who entered the United States as a refugee, only one American-born, most US citizens, some green card holders. Harvard (the former refugee) and Cambridge in the house (and me, of course, to tone things down).

In South Africa there are many refugees and immigrants, too, many from war torn and failing states. There is also xenophobia. Immigrants are resilient. They are determined. They have endured physical and psychological deprivation. They have left everything behind. They have survived. You want them in your gene pool. Because they are strong. And perhaps that is the problem. Do not fear strength. Embrace it. Make it part of you.

Yes, there is a lot of sweeping up after the Chinatown celebration. Click on this Ram Year post from 2015 to see.

This year of the Rooster is a challenge to us all. May we rescue something good from the flames.

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