Thursday, August 25, 2011

Uniquely American

I love for DeKalb Farmer's Market. Anyone who knows me personally or follows this blog has probably figured that out by now. It is an incredibly diverse place; everything from the ingredients to the employees. Although I'm normally writing about my recipes and the food I've made, this time it's a bit more personal than that.

While waiting in line at the meat counter to get ground turkey, one of the guys working struck up a conversation with me. He asked me my name and how my day was going; I reciprocated. Anoosh he responded. Nothing more than typical small talk that transcends all boundaries. After a few minutes of talking I realized he wasn't from the US, so I decided to ask him where he was from originally. It was after I asked this that the conversation became much more profound.

"It doesn't matter anymore," the man said "I am from America now." I was shocked by his candid response. "He is from Ethiopia!" another clerk that overheard our conversation exclaimed. Shaking his head he repeated the same thing again, "it doesn't matter anymore, I am from America now." I was so surprised by his answer to my simple question. I think this is one of the most unique things about America as a country. America is universal. This man came from half way across the world to a country I'm sure he knew almost nothing about. He still has family left in Ethiopia and shares many beliefs with his fellow countrymen. Despite all of this, he still identifies as American.

We had a discussion in my foreign policy class about American nationalism and what it meant. People said everything from freedom to beer and fireworks. While all of those things are well and good, I think I just may have found out what it truly is. Love for country seems to be something that Americans universally have. Appreciation of what you have is something that, even personally, we sometimes lack. It is that appreciation that struck me while buying groceries.

American Nationalism works behind the meat counter at DeKalb Farmer's Market. 
American Nationalism is Anoosh. 

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