Saturday, February 09, 2008

Multiculturalism

Yesterday was such a great day. I took E and Goddaughter to the awesome Portland Chrildren's Museum. I've been to quite a few of these places and this is the best - interesting without being overstimulating, lots of small rooms so no one's running around like a maniac and the creative stuff really encourages creavity, instead of following a gerbil trail (Including a room full of bins of recycled things, and tools like a HOT MELT GLUE GUN - the dream of all 5 year olds. We decorated hats in there yesterday.).

There was a large group of students and moms from a local Islamic school. You could tell them by the head scarves (moms) and nametages (kids).

I spent some time checking out my stereotypes and wondering what it means to be Muslim in this culture - is it a fearful thing? I would think so. So much seems to be arrayed against Muslims just now. This group didnt seem particularly afraid, just engaged and having fun and helping kids with meltdowns like the rest of the families. In spite of training and a fairly highly level of awareness, when I can tell What A Person Is (already an assumption), I still seem to expect that person to be that What every minute.

I also wondered, "How can people tell that I'm a Christian, in a setting like this?" And the answer, "They can't." Of course, Christian is a big label that comes with its own stereotypes, especially out here in The None Zone. Anyway, if progressive Christians had an Identifying Thing, what would you want it to be?

Then spent the rest of my day off really relaxing (facial, chiropractic treatment and a trip to the consignment store) and came home in a GREAT mood, in time to swoop up E and take him to the Fiesta De Los Ninos, a celebration of Latino culture, at his school. It was free - Mexican food, crafts and some entertainment. They were expecting 100 families. Well, when you say free dinner and tell the kids they can sing on the stage, even if it IS with a gazillion other kids, you really should expect the whole school to show. Which they did. We waited in line for an hour, which E liked since he got to goof around with his friends the triplets, while I made awkward conversation with their parents. I mean, I didnt want to be a dork and ask all the usual questions, but honestly all I wanted to say was "Triplets! My gosh! How do you do that??" Later, we ate a taco, then the kids all pushed onto the stage, sang a song in Spanish and pushed off again. After that, was a Mexican singing group, but we had to go because it was definitely bedtime.

I'm glad he's learning Spanish, even if it IS at this point counting to 7 and singing one song. When I learned Spanish in northern Minnesota, I don't think I'd ever really known a real live Spanish speaker. Learning the language in 7th grade was kind of a stunner. Now, whatever other stuff he has about school, that part of learning a language will not be it.

Ok, off to lead a women's retreat now.


LENT #2
First, a note, from E himself:
gdshggddjhfgfgsgsahgsHJAgdhfvdhgshgdgfhajsFGDHVDHFVDgsdgdgzjjdhahjssgfbcvzbgsvxbvhssvhsnvz

2 comments:

more cows than people said...

wow. what a day. sounds great!

hey, not to hijack, but did you hear my fabulous news?

juniper68 said...

MC,
Just made it over to your place and read your great news! Congratulations and hugs, too!
love,
J.