I recently came across this sweet ad about a mother/son reuniting after years apart. It brings up feelings on the immigrant experience that I’ve heard echoed from my parents while I was growing up. The son describes his love for his native city of Mumbai or Bombay, which is also one of my favorite cities on earth. You can almost smell the delicious food the mother painstakingly makes for her son which she believes will be sent to him, courtesy of British Airways. I’m a sucker for emotional commercials featuring real people and this one even incorporates my other passion, the Indian diaspora! Enjoy.
In response to recent anti-immigrant sentiment expressed and embodied by our current President, Rahm Emanuel and the city of Chicago have launched a “One Chicago” campaign, to showcase a unified voice across all of our residents, citizens or not. Unity, equality, and inclusion, that’s what this city is all about. Below are a few featured stories from the campaign.
Alpana Singh is one of my favorite Indian American celebrities in Chicago.
Alpana is a Master Sommelier and entrepreneur. She moved to America from Fiji with her family when she was three years old, and at age 23 she moved to Chicago to run the wine program at Everest. Now she owns three restaurants and believes that her story could not have happened in any other city. (caption from https://onechi.org/stories/alpana-singh/)
I wanted to share Retaj’s story because the reason for most immigration is to secure a better future for the children. I know that’s the driving force for my parents and I want to do what I can to ensure that more children are given the same opportunities that I was.
Retaj is a student living in Kedzie. She recently moved to Chicago with her family as a Syrian refugee looking for safety and a better education. She loves school, learning ballet and wants to be a surgical doctor when she grows up. (caption from https://onechi.org/stories/retaj-abedat/)
Chicago is a city known for it’s music. Be it the Blues, to House, to Kanye and Chance, we definitely leave our mark on culture. The Peoples Music School seeks to ensure everyone has affordable access to music and a chance to pursue their passion.
The People’s Music School was founded by Rita Simo, a pianist from the Dominican Republic whose education at Juilliard inspired her to teach music to American students for free. The school started in Uptown in 1976 and has expanded to four different programs across Chicago. Reflecting Chicago’s diverse ethnic makeup, there are over 20 languages spoken by the families of the 600 young musicians who attend classes. (caption from https://onechi.org/stories/retaj-abedat/)
“Three million Chicagoans. Three million stories. Three million reasons to stand together.”