As someone who writes a food blog, I try to keep this space as apolitical as possible, but as a second generation immigrant myself, I cannot remain silent when I see the country of my birth–America–drastically change in its relation to immigrants and refugees. One of the founding tenets of this country is its inclusiveness and openness to anyone from around the world as well as the equality of opportunity. That’s what attracted my parents, who emigrated in 1964 from the tiny island of Sri Lanka. My mother, a Montessori teacher, came first as the U.S. was recruiting educators at the time, followed by my father and my elder siblings. I was born here in Corpus Christi, Texas, where they had settled. But following my father’s untimely death–three months before I was born–my mother had no choice but to move the family back to Sri Lanka and regroup. When she discovered the practical impossibility of raising a family of three there on a teacher’s salary, however, she soon made plans to return to the U.S. She had to leave my two elder siblings back in Sri Lanka for a year while she saved enough money for their plane tickets, but eventually we were all united. All three of us kids received a top-notch education going on to college and grad school and eventually good jobs and families of our own. We were yet another example of ‘The American Dream’ in action.
But now, it seems, we have collectively awoken into an American Nightmare. Everyday, we are seeing drastic changes wrought by a new regime (and I do mean regime–not administration) who seeks to turn the clock back to the Dark Ages of hate and intolerance. We cannot allow them to alter the fabric of this country whose strength is its diversity and tolerance. A friend and fellow Hippocrene cookbook author (of Spoonfuls of Germany), Nadia Hassani, an immigrant like myself, contacted me about a new food blogger initiative she is starting to celebrate the diversity that is America at its core. It’s called Cooking With A Hyphen because when it comes down to it, we are all hyphenated Americans. We should never be divided because we are always stronger together and ultimately we are all in this together.
Please join at the following link