diaspora feels


Ship of Stone
Don Simpson

Once there was a ship of stone
That orbited a mighty star
And from it flew the first ship’s crew
Whose children we all are.
And no matter how long we’ve drawn our track
Still over our shoulders looking back
Through the hydrogen’s hiss and the methane’s moan
Past the polymer clouds of the dead star’s shrouds
All our roads run back to the ship of stone.

There the first crew all were formed
And wakened from unknowing sleep
By the boundless sight of heaven’s height
And the fires on the deep.
And no matter how strange the forms we wear
How warped and wild, how rich and rare
How changed we’ve made the seeds we’ve sown
We are blood of those who singing rose
From the body of the ship of stone.

And there our own ships’ frames were formed
To grow blue glowing wings
And spread them wide to the farthest tide
Where the last lone beacon sings.
And no matter how tight the net they knot
Of our web where the wheel of light is caught
How strange and lost, how grand they’ve grown,
They too desire all heaven’s fire
Our companions since the ship of stone.

Once there was a ship of stone
Clear-domed, broad-hulled and clean
Where the air shone blue, through whose hold birds flew
Whose decks were growing green.
And no matter how odd these things may seem
As madly mazed as shards of dream
They are not a dream that you dream alone
All ships, all men, are of one kin:
We shall not forget the ship of stone.

I’ve always wondered why I got such a boring WASP name and then I realized.
My parents named my oldest sister Gustava and my other sister Yocheved. Both of them legally changed their names to Julie and Yana because of how brutally teased they were in school. Guess my parents just learned their lesson by the third time around and named me Anna.
And that is how assimilation works.

anonymous asked:

And now that Pixar is announcing Coco, you can bet a lot of Tumblr is going to whine about how it's appropiating mexican culture. In the meanwhile, actual Mexicans are getting hyped.

In general it seems that those who are still living in the country in question are hyped about media that gives them representation, but diaspora (at least, American diaspora) tend to feel threatened as if it will commoditize and erase what little culture they have left.

Maybe I’m biased as a white person, but I think by including other cultures in the media is actually a good way to get people interested in them and to help them accept them. I think it’s a great disservice to exclude other cultures from media representation under the guise of “cultural appropriation.”

rose-indigo-and-tom  asked:

hc where Alicia Zimmermann is the child of French Canadian immigrants who moved to Lowell, MA (1/3 of Québecois moved to New England between I think 1840 and 1940), and so didn't grow up speaking French at all but did grow up sort of being a part of that culture

So, I’m obviously not of French Canadian heritage, so I’m going to punt on the majority of this prompt but maybe one of our local experts can provide some actual color commentary or specifics.

I’ll just say for my part, wow! I feel like that would be kinda rough on Alicia to grow up in a diaspora community like Lowell and then find herself married to man from Québec and have a kid who straddles the divide so effortlessly(?) even though he spent at least a few years of his childhood in Pittsburgh. She might have thought she’d have an ally in Jack with some of the diaspora feels, but he took to Québec like a duck to water (and it was maybe, a little bit disappointing to her although she would never, ever, ever admit it and she’s so happy for Jack that he at least never felt the same imposter syndrome that she did).

Maybe she learned some in French classes in HS or later in college, but I can’t imagine she’d be anywhere near fluent when she first meets Bob, but she inexplicably knows things like how to cook certain foods or certain mannerisms that she can’t even explain properly. Jack, who is able to speak French with so little effort even though Alicia still stumbles through it for most of his early childhood and sometimes trips up even once he’s grown, makes her both jealous and proud (mostly proud). Sometimes when Bob and Jack are speaking in rapid-fire French together, Alicia just completely checks out because even after all those years, it’s hard for her to keep up and most of the time when it’s just the three of them, they use English or switch back and forth between the two.

When Jack chooses to go to Samwell instead of somewhere in Québec for college, she definitely cries because it might be the first time that Jack had ever chosen something that was entirely hers to embrace.

forreal tho, do any of u ethnic kids in the diaspora feel like you’re “appropriating” (if thats even the right word) parts of your own culture that you know deep down u arent connected to….

There’s a post going around about Japanese Imperialism and while well written, it frustrates me that the same exact people who talk down to diaspora are the same assholes who reblog that post.

The other thing that irritates me is when people try to bring up imperialism when talking about or to diaspora issues. As an Okinawan whose people and culture suffered at the hands of Japanese Imperialism, STFU and stop bringing it up in a conversation that wasn’t even discussing it. They are definitely important issues but stop trying to use it as an argument to talk down to diaspora about their feelings because the two really aren’t related.

I’m here for my South Asians of the diaspora who feel out of place wearing traditional clothes because they feel distanced from it or uncomfortable expressing their heritage. Your experiences and identity are valid.

I’m here for my South Asians of the diaspora who wear traditional clothes a few times a year in the privacy of their homes because that’s the only connection they have to their heritage. Your experiences and identity are valid. 

I’m here for my South Asians who diaspora who go about their daily lives wearing traditional clothes and face harassment and ostracism from society. Your experiences and identity are valid. 

However you choose to or to not partake in your culture is up to YOU and is NOT up for judgment by others. 

I kind of just live for fanfic and headcanon where the Overwatch heroes share their culture with each other and learn and shit.

Jesse is slightly bitter towards Hanzo because he got to preserve his culture (I highkey headcanon him as at least partially indigenous) but Hanzo feels like, welp, technically yes but he still sometimes expresses his culture in a way palatable for westerners with the dragons and cool clothes and pretty trees?

Gabe and Jesse bond a lil over cultural diaspora and not feeling like they belong

Symmetra being confused AF by Tracer because she’s from a British colony and the cultural holdovers in India from Imperial British are A LOT different from the working class culture that Tracer is from

A spider gets into the base and Junkrat and Roadhog are sent to kill it and they’re SO CONFUSED at HOW SMALL THE SPIDERS ARE like HOW IS ANYONE SCARED OF THESE

Actual saltine cracker Jack Morrison in awe of his amazing children and before missions he’s like KIDS EAT YOUR YOGURT only to realize that p much every non-European team member has lactose intolerance which gives him a mild panic attack because he thinks he’s failing as a dad. Then eventually, TENTATIVELY, Amelie is reformed and brings a bunch of amazing French cheeses with her and Jack openly weeps for joy because he has someone to eat dairy with again.

Reinhardt just. Keeps playing a lot of David Hasselhoff. They just let him do his thing.

You know, I love being Jewish, I do. 

But the other day my Canadian friend was talking about the Jewish population of his city and I thought, that’s more than three times the Jewish population of my entire country. The thing about being Jewish is that it’s hard to be a Jew alone, without a community around you who know all the songs and the prayers and the history, who you can truly call a family. And that’s why I’m so grateful for the Jewish community we have here on Tumblr, Jews from all over the world who support each other and care for each other. We’ve built a beautiful thing.

There is something to be said about living in translation. There are words and sentiments in Chinese that cannot be done justice by English. There are words in English, which have no parallel in Chinese. I grew up between these two paradigms. I learned how to adapt, how to code switch—I learned how to survive in a world that objectifies the language of my heritage and that doubts my ownership of the language of my country. 

Language has been denied to me on both fronts, sometimes in obvious, sometimes in bizarre ways. White people are surprised by how well I speak English. Taiwanese-American kids I knew back in high school, so worried about their own place in the diaspora, would argue that my Mandarin wasn’t Taiwanese enough. Wasn’t authentic enough. Folks who took a year of classes in Chinese just love to throw obscure phrases that they’ve learned at me, hoping to win a competition they’ve imagined in their heads. I grew up exhausted by language. I both desired and hated what I could and could not have, whether it was the words I knew or the thoughts I could not translate.

And yet, there is something wondrous about living in that chaos. In being forced to craft a new way of speaking, a new way of thinking. Those of us living in the diaspora have formed our own language, one littered with words and phrases from the tongues we know, one with accents exaggerated and appreciated. It’s a battle to reclaim what was lost to us, the pieces of our identity that have been taken from us, but sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes, it’s a rebellion.

all the aliens are jewish

all of them. every single one. klingons sit shiva! bajorans are….just really incredibly jewish in every way. and of course the aliens are Jewish, because what is a space story about if not diaspora? and while jews are not the only people in diaspora, we have had a LOT of practice at it, in so many times and places, for so many millenia. when humans went to space, we already knew how to pack up our history and heritage and take it with us, how to travel light, how to hide it when living among enemies and strangers without letting its light die out. how to balance distinctiveness with the pressures of assimilation. Judaism already is what space requires all faiths and nationalities to become: a candle flame, taken from the hearth of your ancestors, that you can carry alone into the dark.

space is gay and the aliens are jewish. I don’t make the rules

So all this talk on jumblr lately about the Jewish moon colony, especially about how religious practices and customs are going to have to change there, put me in mind of this song.  Which has been on my mind in connection with some related concepts, since I last heard it sung at the Pegasus Nominees concert at the Ohio Valley Filk Festival back in October.

I’ve known this song for almost two decades now, and I don’t know why it never really hit me until this last time: it’s a diaspora song.

Give it a listen.

Chanukah in New Zealand is a little different from how Americans celebrate it, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, there are so few of us here- six thousand is a pretty generous estimate. I believe there’s a grand total of two synagogues on the mainland, as well. This means that people in New Zealand are barely aware we exist, which leads to questions like ‘So where’s your… hat thing?’ and 'Are you sure you’re Jewish?’ (For the record, I’m pretty sure.) Without a sizeable Jewish community, we slide beneath the radar, beneath notice. We have to constantly affirm our Judaism, wear it like a badge of honour, shout it from the rooftops if we must. As our schools close down, as our foods are outlawed, as more and more of us leave for America and Israel, it begins to seem as though this is not a country where Jews can thrive.

It’s not easy to be Jewish, and it never really has been. But as long as we celebrate who we are, as long as we commemorate those who have gone before us and await with excitement those yet to come, we can remain, and we can thrive.

My family doesn’t do big things for the holiday- I know for a fact I’ve seen some of our gifts in the aisles of Vinnie’s and CoinSave- but I’m glad of the fact that we celebrate at all, that by lighting candles and spinning dreidels we can remember our history, and face the future with hope.