Off to Belgrade

…. at jfk with pal Shoba, we’ve been having interesting conversations about our travel bug, growing up in neighboring countries yet so far (!)– coming to study and then academic careers in the USA, tribalisms, progressive politics, social media and the like. I disagree with Shoba on the idea of “roots” and the whole notion of a conduct zone with people with whom one has shared a similar regional/national background I dislike the very idea of “roots”– which brings with it the whole panoply of feelings of “belonging ” somewhere and that can-has- led to so many horrors inflicted by “Belongers” on those deemed “non- belongers “; I know this is not what Shoba means- it’s more about sharing some values and “good” stuff that many of our communities of origin stand for but are routinely ignored by the cultures of the West where we’ve made our homes.Yet- why can’t we simply say we are shattering stereotypes about any and all communities– not just those we somehow feel more “connected to”– by virtue of an accident of birth?Eastern Europe where we’re headed has gone through such violent upheavals all because of this notion of sameness vs difference- with that which isn’t “you” or connected to a “common heritage” ( whatever that means)– being seen as a threat, needing to be expungedHmmmm….. good to think/talk/ challenge and be challenged by each other

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