01 May 2006

The local immigration rally

This past weekend the town that I live in right now had its own immigration rally. I don't think it would have lived up to what those that asked for the immigration rally on 01MAY06 wanted, but that is alright this one in town was better. It was a celebration of the local town's own heritage.
The town I live in was initially settle by 3 people in the 1850's. The place served as a basic trading and outfitting post for those going fishing in the waters around here. Then around the turn of the century during a wave of European immigration into the US a number of Dutch settled in the area, along with a couple low land areas in some cities near by. They then turned to logging and really made the town grow in to the little city it was. They also gave it some flavor. So for as long as I can remember, they have had a celebration of these Dutch settlers. In recent years though the celebration has also turned to a number of other people that have emigrated to the area from other places around the world. Primarily from the Pacific rim, with the US Navy service members who meet women overseas got married and brought them home. So during this little weekend celebration not only are the Dutch celebrated but also, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Japanese, Koreans, and a general hodge podge of people are seen around in traditional dress. They have a big parade on Saturday that follows with a 2 day street carnival and you see people doing dancing, talking about their heritage, serving traditional foods, and in general getting out meeting their neighbors. This is almost a great Norman Rockwell or Currier and Ives moment of Americana.
But what really makes this whole thing really interesting is that the Friday before they also have a big whooped do at one of the local halls in town where the oath of citizenship is issued to those newest American citizens who live in town and then they are featured on a parade float.

Seeing this celebration happen this past weekend in town to me gave a real contrast to the protests that happened today in through out the nation. That contrast was on how to really celebrate your heritage and to celebrate your love for the city, state, country that you live in.

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