Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Case for Contamination

By Kwame Anthony Appiah (photographs by Lyle Ashton Harris) in NY Times:

"Anywhere you travel in the world - today as always - you can find ceremonies like these, many of them rooted in centuries-old traditions. But you will also find everywhere - and this is something new - many intimate connections with places far away: Washington, Moscow, Mexico City, Beijing. Across the street from us, when we were growing up, there was a large house occupied by a number of families, among them a vast family of boys; one, about my age, was a good friend. He lives in London. His brother lives in Japan, where his wife is from. They have another brother who has been in Spain for a while and a couple more brothers who, last I heard, were in the United States. Some of them still live in Kumasi, one or two in Accra, Ghana's capital. Eddie, who lives in Japan, speaks his wife's language now. He has to. But he was never very comfortable in English, the language of our government and our schools. When he phones me from time to time, he prefers to speak Asante-Twi." (more)


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