Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meet and greet

Walking the dog, I noticed on the publicity panels at the tram stop, that on several posters, one for a sneaker from Footwear, another for photographic material, stickers were added in the by me despised combination of black and yellow which stands for extreme Flemish nationalism. Their gripe was with the English in the ads. It bothers me because it is just another sign of the refolding, retreating into the 'comfort zone' of their own culture and people. This city and many others in Europe Sarajevo (the first were I really felt the meaning of cosmopolitanism, which was bombed to smithereens and is now mono-ethnic and mono-religious), Triest (with the Lega Nationale and their racist and anti-Islam points of view) and also my city. In the sixties/seventies, when I was out and about a bit more I would always meet, musicians, painters, draftdodgers, conscientious objectors, writers who would stay a while and enrich, fertilize the provincial attitudes that were. They were poor and powerless but were the leven in the dough of society. Then this city was magnificent and it still is because enough people care. So there was a meet and greet your neighbors were cultural exchange once again happened and were deep discussions among total strangers were conducted in a lively fashion about the past and the future. Our futures will be our choice and we need to go the non-violent, peaceful way, taking care of our environment, granting the personal freedoms we all need, tolerance, working towards social justice and livable cities, where all the keys to understanding the world resound in song and languages spoken. A left wing progressive cosmopolitan. By the way the Goulash soup was great and the fruit salad just different and enough to be grand...

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