vendredi 20 février 2015

MULTIPLE NATIONALITIES, DISTINCT IDENTITIES BUT SIMILAR ASPIRATIONS: MULTIINDIVIDUALISM?

MULTIPLE NATIONALITIES, DISTINCT IDENTITIES  BUT SIMILAR ASPIRATIONS

I was at a Shopping Mall near my sister’s house on this sunny but breezy day.

At the Apple Store, a young man (born in USA of Nicaraguan parents), interested in Ecology sold me the iPhone 6. We talked not about the Apple products but about income inequalities in Latin America, Cuba’s role in providing medical care to the poor in Latin America and Nicaraguan Politics. I told him: Emigration is a very personal choice but I feel sad that so many educated professionals especially Doctors leave Nicaragua, Ecuador and other developing countries.
Walking into the L’Occitane store just to savour the perfumes and creams, the young lady inn attendance turned out to be chirpy and very pleasant. She was born in Brooklyn of Dominican parents. We had a nice chat about her dreams and aspirations. She had an innocence about her which was very attractive. She is a credit to the company she works for (she loves her job) and the other hobby cum job in the PR field. Good Luck!
On the way to the café, I saw the T mobile store and went inside to say Thank you for the excellent service provided by T mobile to this traveller. I was talking to an agent, a young man, born in Texas of Colombian parents. We talked about the recent upsurge in tourism to Colombia and reminisced about the beauty of his parental country.
All three of them are Americans, well integrated into the society. All born in the USA spoke English like americans (naturally) but when I broke into Spanish, they replied, without shame, in perfect Spanish with sonorous accents. They were not ashamed of their origins, they knew about the countries of their parents, had spent time there and all the three of them, wanted to return and do something for their countries.
This is in sharp contrast with some of the immigrants to Europe, where such integration is hardly seen and there is a shame about who they are or where they are from.
Perhaps, in the words of Marc Auge, this is the advent of Multiindividualism.
We had something in common but at the same time, we were individualistic. One was interested in Ecology, the other two in bettering the conditions of their parental countries. These young men and woman indeed deserve our respect and not our scorn as “immigrants”. It is such people who made this country, the USA, one of the more livable countries in this planet, where your aspirations are limited only by yourself: not by your school, not by an elite system of education at tertiary level or blockades erected against your colour or parental nationality.
I settled down for a cup of coffee (I missed the cortadito of Cuban cafes and any day give me a Cortadito from a Cuban café, Starbucks  never can compete for my taste!). Without even thinking, I ordered my coffee in Spanish.
The American born young lady had no problem understanding me. Her parents had come here from El Salvador!

Bienvenidos a Miami!