I am really excited to see “Wetbacks, Aliens, & Towelheads: True Stories from the First Generation” this evening. It is being performed as part of Intersections: A New America Arts Festival at the Atlas. Five artists will tell their true stories about being children of immigrant parents or immigrants themselves. The stories combine humor, honesty, and insight.
This play hits close to home for me because many of my friends are first generation. When I have conversations with them, I stand in awe when I hear about many of the challenges that they have to face. The lack of intolerance and patience Americans have for people from other countries is shameful. Our unwillingness to learn how to pronounce their names correctly. Our unwillingness to learn about their culture. Our unwillingness to look at them as individuals. Putting aside your feelings about illegal immigrants and english as our national language, we should treat everyone with respect.
When I was a student at Ohio University, my roommate was from China during summer school. When we met, I could tell she was nervous, and she was self-conscious about her english. I tried to make her feel comfortable. I would help her time to time with her english. She would ask me to pronounce and spell words. However, I was being polite rather than genuinely caring. I now wish I would have seized the opportunity to have gotten to know her. I don’t even know why she came to America to attend school? *smh* Man, I could have visited China by now with a room and board hook-up. 🙂
On the serious tip though, how many of us would be willing to travel to another country where you do not speak the language well, and immerse yourself in the culture? You would hope that people would have a little patience, and even help you out from time to time. Every once in a while it’s good to step outside of yourself to feel what another person is experiencing.
When you look around at your friends, who are they? Where are they from? Is everyone the same for the most part? Do you live your life insulated from the diversity and richness of life?
If you want to broaden your perspective, join us for this wonderful event.
February 26, 2010 at 9:30PM & February 27, 2010 at 7:30PM
@Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St, NE
Buy tickets here.