Friday, September 21, 2007

Parallels: A Start

Yesterday as I was walking through a small grassy field to the supermarket, I passed by a small, very hunched-over, old man who stared intently and ambled slowly in my direction. I said Dober dan (Good day) to him at which point his eyes quickly lit up and he became very animated saying (in Slovene) Good day and welcome to you, my friend from Africa! > When I told The Captain, he laughed and shook his head, making some comment on my ability to turn mundane tasks into funny stories.

One of the hopes in coming here was that I would be able to start drawing parallels, finding commonalities, ties that would bind, but in a non-hippy Kumbaya kinda way... The hope is that I could join/ be part of building communities of people that moved beyond nation and culture and built bonds around beliefs and actions. I think that world is coming together daily on the many blogs I frequent, and the few that I am writing.

(aborigines, roma, and american blacks - a few of the many groups struggling. how to make the bigger connections?)

Recently, the blogosphere has been on fire with news of the protests in Jena, Louisiana regarding the unfair prosecution of six teens (read the fact sheet here). Following this clip of Michael Moore on Slovenian TV, I had a lengthy conversation with The Captain on the matter of Slovenia and the world community, which eventually led to a discussion of the treatment of Roma here in Slovenia. Today I was lucky enough to happen upon this informative update post (by way of Michael at Carniola ) on the matter. It is interesting to see the way apartheid is manifesting itself throughout the world and the variegated (and often disappointing) responses (or lack thereof) to it. The Roma story also reminds me of many of the current struggles of Aborigine people in Australia, who are living in a situation comparable to the late 50's/ early 60's American south, at best. Though the details differ in all the cases, it is often all too familiar: the majority holding up some antiquated separate but equal standard and feeling perfectly justified in doing so. I am not sure what it will take to bring about a positive shift, but I have a feeling it is not a big protest or press conference, thought they certainly look impressive. I have a feeling that the real change must manifest in many small, mundane, and sometimes funny ways.