Every single day I fall more and more in love with the area we live in. Our little corner of Nashville is so rich with culture due to a HUGE African and Middle Eastern population.
Just walking through the grocery store I see woman of all ages wearing clothing that is traditional to their countries and I hear languages I’ve never heard. Women stop me and comment on the fact that I wear LBG on my back. Today a Muslim woman (not sure what ethnicity) in a store told me all about the woven wrap she wears her son in when she’s not at work. She was quite please to see me doing the same. There was a man next to me in the checkout line where the conversation was taking place, and in his very thick African accent told me he was sad when he moved to this country and didn’t see mothers wearing their babies. His wife carried all of their children on her back, too.
The food. Oh, the food! We can leave our little village and turn left to find ourselves in the parking lot of a Greek restaurant with an Egyptian twist to it. Across the street from there is an Ethiopian restaurant! Not to mention the Arabic cuisine and the many ethnic grocery stores.
Our next door neighbor’s friend (who practically lives at her house) just so happens to be from Iraq. Holy cow! In the month or so we’ve lived here, he’s already introduced LBG and I to foods we’d probably never have the opportunity to try. TF spent 15 months in Iraq and tried all kind of yummies that he thought he’d never taste again… but now he can and we might even be able to learn how to cook them ourselves!
Yesterday, I was talking to my neighbor’s friend and we decided that LBG should grow up speaking both English and Arabic! He and LBG are best friends… with a 30 year age difference, so from now on he is only going to speak to him in Arabic. We all hang out at least 4 times a week so he should be able to pick up at least the basics as he grows up.
To our friend, LBG’s name is now Atooki! He’s offered to teach him how to read and write in Arabic when he’s old enough, which TF and I will be eternally indebted if we are living here long enough. Do you know how much Arabic translators make? Don’t worry we aren’t planning out his future or anything. Just offering him another skill that he might find to be useful later in life.
For TF and I, it’s really important to teach LBG about cultural tolerance -accepting every culture. We’ve realized that the best way for us to do that is to totally take part in everything around us.
This is why I love where we live!