Thursday, April 02, 2009

E Pluribus Unum

As Ed and I ate dinner at the port in Jersey City, New Jersey (not by choice, we were stuck there due to gross incompetence on the parts of many people whose fingers were in the pie of our load) we watched a little television to accompany my fine cooking.

As we channel surfed, we found several languages represented in the local stations. Italian (
Raitalia TV), Korean (KBS World), Spanish (Univision and others) and we think some other Asian channel we couldn't identify.

New York truly embodies E pluribus unum; Latin for "Out of Many, One." It's in the collage of faces and the symphony of voices. Everyone fits and everyone adds something unique with their instrument. Even within the confines of the trucking industry, you will notice it; especially at the ports. In one afternoon, you'll see everything from a Punjabi Sikh with a turban, to a Jamaican Rasta with dreadlocks, to a tiny Chinaman so slight you think he'd be better suited to be a jockey than a truck driver.

When I was younger, there was a kid from Honduras who worked at our family restaurant. He learned most of the English he knew from watching television, which is probably the reason why every time he opened his mouth, he sounded like either a commercial or a sitcom. But he learned. And he prospered. And he was very, very happy to participate in the American life he created, even if he did it in broken English. The mixture of his Spanish and English was part of his charm. I wonder if I would become more charming if I sat around watching Raitalia TV? Forse.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Dance In Their Heads, Hands And Feet
The Love Buffet
Whadya Think This Is, The Waldorf?

1 comment:

Gil said...

I wish that Comcast had Italian TV all we get is some Spanish channel!