Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nowruz Means 'New Day'.

No, I do not have a hangover. After much time on the road this past month, I spent a perfectly lovely and quiet evening with old friends up in the Highlands. No, not those Highlands. These. And now, our Afghan friends are preparing to celebrate Nowruz, the beginning of the New Year, and I am happy. I expect to be gathering with a few of them in Vancouver this weekend.

Following upon this, two places to go to reflect on meanings of these things today:

"Conflict between British Protestants and Irish Catholics in Canada is now historic memory. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who played in the National Hockey League until 1927 as the Toronto St. Patricks, wore their retro green jerseys for a March 17 game a few years ago to postsectarian joy. Simultaneously, the rifts Canada faces today – between non-Muslim and Muslim, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, to name but two – make McGee and his objection to identity politics a modern song.

"Those who complain that Canadian multiculturalism has reduced ethnicity to folk dances and food tastings are rebutted by McGee's conception of St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy your traditional language and art, he posited, and (to be true to his own liver) an amount of traditional drink. Ethnicity is for history, for remembering the past and so reaching to better serve justice. If celebrating identity leads to disorder, we forget what the party is for."

That's from Aidan Johnson, whose essay in the Globe I was pleased to read on the flight home yesterday.

And just back from the Holy Land (not Ireland, the other one) is my dear friend Jonathon Narvey, a colleague at the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, whose dispatches from away can be read here. He can be found regularly here. I particularly recommend this assessment of the Palestinian freedom struggle.

Also highly recommended: This. Marg Bar Diktator.

Post script: You're welcome.


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