Will You Be My Neighbor?

We have a small four year college in our town that is part of the ND University system. It is traditionally a teachers college, and also has a good business  administration department.   I was excited to see one of the new business faculty is a native of Bangladesh, and brings a family history of an uncle who is the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who created the Grameen Bank, which provides small loans for people in Bangladesh to start their own businesses.  The nephew brings the same sort of social responsibility to his class room, and I am really glad we have in increasingly diverse community.  His philosophy is that  you create business to solve social problems, unlike traditional businesses which are exclusively profit-oriented.

Every summer we have an ethnic heritage festival in which the Germans from Russia, Norwegians, Ukrainians, and Dutch groups have food booths and displays of traditional dress and crafts. The Mexican Americans have now joined the festival, and this year the local Rwandan community featured a traditional dance group.

I am happy to report that everyone in town seems to be getting along for the most part, and I am glad that we have new community members who aren’t like the majority of white mid-westerners.

Who would you like to see move into your neighborhood?

 

24 thoughts on “Will You Be My Neighbor?”

  1. I am afraid my neighborhood is still a reflection of the redlining and exclusionary housing deeds (stipulating who, if you bought the house, you could not sell to later) that used to happen in this city. I like my neighbors, but miss the multiple languages and mix of folks from my old neighborhood.

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I am delighted to report that over the years our neighborhood has become quite mixed. The two-three neighbors who are obnoxious or thoughtless, or who do weird stuff are all Caucasion. The (so-called) minorities in the neighborhood are lovely. In fact the weekend after Election Day, 2016, the Muslim woman across the street, and I stood there sobbing and hugging each other in grief. Jill’s husband, from Jordan, walked by us holding his rake, and said, “Oh, I’m not worried. Just let him (#45) have the whole thing. He’ll ruin it all.” A neighborhood oracle. (My private joke–they both work for Oracle and want to retire). Which reminds me, they asked me for the name of my health insurance advisor, and I must take it to them.

    The original neighbors, here since the mid-70’s are aging out and are dying or going to properties that are less work. There are several mixed race families, a number of Asian families, some immigrant families from Africa and India, and many more children who play outside. Yeah! We also have several families of white squirrel, some of whom decided to live in the attic of the house two doors down. They have been evicted since Brian and Sarah bought the property last summer, and it cost them a bundle.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Replying to Renee: I keep hearing that Canada and the US differ on assimilating new groups. The US plan is the melting pot, where all entities meld to become one. Canadians seem more comfortable with ethnic salads, where distinct groups function in harmony without losing their original identities.

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  3. Our immediate vicinity is pretty white, but I see African American and Hispanic kids, anyway, when I’m on my bike. There are traditionally a lot of Polish families here on the East End. A good friend lives just a couple of blocks away, and we have been to an EastEnders” potluck – several active, like minded people, some of whom Husband knew from the 70s!

    There are any number of good friends from places I’ve lived, that I would love to have move in next door. Will think further…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Few Lutherans in my old neighborhood. Almost everyone was Catholic. That puzzled me, then someone mentioned that our neighborhood was near one of the most respected Catholic schools in the Twin Cities, a place called Nativity. It used to be a magnet for Catholic families.

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  4. obama, ilan omar, bill gates, bill and hillary clinton , al franken, mr rogers, musicians artists and creatives from all walks would be nice … but i chose to live in the burbs with a bunch of aging baby boomers selling their mc mansions to gen x 30 and 40 somethings with multiple suv households and a tentative wave as they drive by. we have a black guy and a new asian neighbor who seem nice.
    we are talking about the next home now that empty nesting is fast approaching.
    neighborhood and house will both get considerations.
    i have looked at creating a community based around a community 20 acre garden in the midst of the development that embraces outdoor values along with school districts as a hook
    glad to hear north dakota is welcoming new culture.
    i see mayor of minneapolis is proposing to highlight 6 ethnic neighborhoods to make them gems rather than strickrn areas with hispanic, black, east african and american indian as mentioned groups
    hmong in st. paul is pretty close to china town in other areas and there are areas in the city that represent czech, polish and slavic roots in nordeast and how bout them iron rangers hey, gotta celebrate the range,
    germans and norske roots are so strong they are assumed but anvaddition to the swedish institute would be good and the russian art museum stands alone. nothing about india or pakistan comes to mind nor tibet/nepal
    plug em all in and let’s make minnesota great
    jimi hendrix reclaimed the star spangled banner 50 years ago for the boomers
    maybe we can reclaim make america great again by pushing radical extremist views back into the shadows where the belong instead of front and center for 40% of this confused media manipulated culture we call home

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Some obvious choice of neighbor has been tugging on my mind all day. Now it hit me:

    Mr. Rogers. I want Mr. Rogers to move in. Maybe I will just have to buy the movie when it comes out (if it has not already). 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My neighborhood is a real mixed bag, in more ways than one. It’s pretty diverse in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, and race, with a lot of Latin flavor. There are several interracial families. The Latin flavor is one of the characteristics that attracted me to it in the first place, that and the fact that housing here was more affordable than in most other areas. I have friends in the neighborhood in a lot of different professions: nurses, lawyers, teachers at all levels, construction workers, truck drivers, artists (including an opera singer), and people in media and IT. It tends to be a very liberal group, for which I’m grateful.

    Tomorrow night we’re going to a pot-luck at Helen and Sarah’s house in celebration of both of their birthdays. A bunch of my favorite neighbors and friends will be there with an abundance of good food. If the weather cooperates, it’s bound to be a glorious evening with lots of interesting people and good conversation. I love my hood.

    Who would I like to move in? Some more like-minded people. Preferably not someone who will tear down a perfectly fine home and replace it with a McMansion or a slum lord who doesn’t give a hoot.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. My neighborhood is supposedly racially diverse, but I wouldn’t really suspect that if I didn’t know the statistics. When we had our National Night Out potluck, everybody there was white, it seemed, except for one group of three people who were of African descent, and the guy who owns the house north of me, who is of Hmong descent. The neighborhood has a lot of historically Latino families, but mostly they’ve been in St. Paul for a generation or two or three and speak English as their first language. There’s a big Cinco de Mayo celebration, and quite a few local businesses have signs in Spanish. For the most part, though, recent Latino immigrants haven’t been settling here. They’re going to the Lake Street area of Minneapolis, or the east side of St. Paul.

    I see Somali people in the neighborhood, but I think they mostly work here and don’t live here. When I visit my aunt at her assisted living residence, there seem to be quite a few Somali folks working there. I’m not sure where they are living, though. My immediate neighborhood is mostly owner-occupied homes, not very many rentals, and the homes seem to be owned mostly by white people. Some Hmong and Latino families, yes, but I worry that home ownership still remains out of reach for many.

    I would like to see more immigrant families moving into homes that they own. Renting isn’t a bad thing, per se, but still, people really form community when they buy into the neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

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