Being an immigrant means a lot of things.
Assimilating, overcoming language barriers, unlearning and learning cultural mentality are only few of the challenges. But there is another one less talked about: Always having a part of you in the country of your origin. Even if that country no longer exists -- the memory of what was once home is alive and well in an immigrant's mind and heart.
As an immigrant living in the states, I've practiced making peace with that part of myself that likes to ponder on the memory of the old home. But some days -- I get more sentimental than others. Today was one of those days.
Forgive me for bringing up politics... (One of the first things I've learned about the American mentality is 'we can't talk about politics or religion'... sigh... I would talk about both with anyone, huh!) but today the power structure in my home town of Israel shifted dramatically: After twelve years as prime minister, Benjamin Nethanyahu was finally ousted along with his group of very right wing loyalists. HALLELUJAH! In his replacement, a coalition government was formed that defies expectations and brings up hopes. How so, you ask? Well, this coalition includes a secular centrist liberal, a right wing religious settler, a Palestinian Israeli Conservative Islamist, and a far left gay leader, just to name a few. Sounds far fetched, I know, but these small parties found unity in their quest to work together to oust Nethanyahu and bring upon a much coveted change. See, when the deeply divided country of Israel found itself facing FOUR elections in two years... a strong desire circulated to form a government and keep from entering a FIFTH election. To do that, parties had to unite from all sides of the spectrum, in hopes of creating a backdrop for a new era of unity in the country as a result. I may be speaking out of HOPE here, but it seems like a uber democratic way to deal with a polarized country and coming out of a years-long right wing government lead by a corrupt politician and wannabe dictator (um - Nathanyau is literally on trial for corruption).
So, this is a very simplified version of why today my Immigrant heart is not with my chosen home, but rather with my old home. And as my friends and family are dancing and cheering and celebrating in the streets, I am with them from afar with a cheer and a song in my heart. A new song. A hopeful song. A hope for a brighter future!
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman