New Year, New Hope

In just a few days, we will ring in the New Year. 2016. 

To me, a new year is a bit of an oxymoron.

On the one hand, Jan. 1, 2016 is just the day after Dec. 31, 2015.  Another day.  Another tomorrow. 

On the other hand, it is symbolic.  It marks a new beginning, new hope, new promises.  Humans have always relished in the symbolic  – perhaps because the symbolic represents something larger than ourselves, something beyond the mundane, everyday experiences of our lives.

For refugees coming to the U.S., having to leave behind everything that used to be symbolic – places, foods, and traditions – perhaps there is nothing greater than remembering those symbols.

As we all celebrate a new year of our lives, a new year of hope, I share with you two more poems written by the students in Julia Escobar’s English class here at LSS. They are good reminders of how difficult it can be to leave behind the old.   It is never easy to say goodbye. 

And yet, there is always the hope, as with these former refugees, that something great awaits us in the future – including a new life in Sioux Falls, South Dakota!

Happy New Year!

Where I am From

By Dilli Dulal

I am from a rice and corn spade.

I am from the stone and wood double-storied pleasant Nepali dwelling.

I am from Bhutanese Rhododendron blooming throughout the year in the Himalayans.

I am from rice and corn, and blue and white school uniforms.

I am from Tulsi and Radha.

I am from hard labor and being active,

from weekly devotion in the Temple.

I am from preaching the prayer of God.

I am from Devi and Durga branches,

From earthy rice, corn food,

and cow’s milk and orange juice to drink.

I am from the large paddy field and the huge orange field

in the middle of a beautiful Himalayan Kingdom.

I am from those moments . . .


Bhutanese Rhododendron


Where I Am From

By Ali Al Azerj

I am from Southern birds, from Basra oil,

I am from a wooden house surrounded by many trees on a river bank.

I am from a date tree.

I am from fish and wool,

from Dakhel and Slowa.

I am from “please” and “excuse me,”

from faith in the family.

I am from we-are-like-any-other-religion.

I am from Azerj branch,

from meat, rice and orange juice.

I am from hot weather.

I am from the house my family abandoned fleeing from the militants.

I am from these moments …

iraq date tree

 Date trees grow throughout the Middle East.

Posted by Julie Boutwell-Peterson






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