Rachel Bielabout 1 month ago
Excellent! I moved from Chicago to a small town in Kentucky a few years ago and miss the diversity I enjoyed with my Chicago friends. One core group of friends were Brazilians married to Mexicans who then had siblings and friends married to other ethnic groups: Romanian, Japanese, Anglos, etc. Our parties were a mix of languages and the kids would tear around, oblivious of any cultural differences. The great melting pot!
I had an ethnic gallery back then with textiles and crafts from around the world. I often thought about how these things represented hot pockets where people were killing each other, yet they were all arranged as a silent testimony to what we have in common. For me, working through textiles and the things that people make has been my way of contributing toward common ground. You are so right in saying that these non-verbal forms can heal and unify, but words can also do that. Exposure and connecting is key. I believe that those who have traveled, immigrated, and exposed themselves to other cultures have struggled to the core with what it means to be human, to have roots, and how adaptation changes the conversation. Each of us needs to look back into our history and keep what is good and throw out what is destructive or useless.