Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Beggars and the Bleeding Hearts (乞食と日本の将来)

sara soba

You might be wondering how a photo of noodle is related to the title.  It is New Year’s Eve and eating buckwheat noodle is a Japanese ritual.  The long noodle represents longevity of life.  Why shouldn’t it?  Buckwheat is good for your health anyway.  As I ponder on my hectic year 2014, marked with occasional tears, I hope to make the New Year more cheerful, at least within my blog.  So this is the last post I write about my political concern. 

Beggars are everywhere, even in the beautiful city of Paris, reflecting the difficult financial state of the country.  Let’s hope the New Year brings better time for all of us.  There are, however, those who have been making a career out of begging.  The old gypsy women going around begging loudly for charity.  The young and innocent will feel for them like I used to…only I wondered why they all wore the outdated gypsy clothes in this twentieth century.  This was in Italy, one late afternoon.  I noticed a beggar was changing out of her gypsy dirty clothes into a clean modern stylish dress!  She removed her scarf from her head, tossed her hair out and walked into a deli-shop.  Not a cheap super market, but a rather dainty deli-shop.  So next time, you see a pitiful looking gypsy hag, feel free to ignore her.  In fact,pay more attention to your purse or pocket because her partners may be lurking about. 

Now on a more serious note, Romanians suffer discrimination because the world mixes them up with gypsies.  No, they are not racially related at all, said my Romanian friend who is highly educated and writes impeccable English.  Centuries ago, Romanians did not think much of the gypsies who moved into their country after they had been persecuted everywhere else.  The Romanians wish that their ancestors with a bleeding heart stood firm against them because the modern days see those gypsies being granted Romanian citizenship, or the appearance of.  Some of them go to other countries and behave in such a way that discredits the genuine Romanians.  Why even in Japan, Romanian women are often deemed to be involved in the organized prostitution.  As the result of that, the husband of my genuine Romanian friend finds it difficult to have his resumes  accepted without prejudice when applying for jobs in other country, even though he is a university graduate, not a gypsy.  

While I sympathize with the plight of my friends, I dread that Japan is heading for a similar future because of this one article posted in a Chinese website.  We may seem to be crushing with one another, but the truth is Chinese and Japanese share a mutual respect for each other.  Through this article, the Chinese editor was warning us of this one Asian nation whose people pretending to be Japanese when they have violated the rules of countries they visit or have migrated to.  I have also personally overheard them boasting to have taught Japan to have a culture, in a public bus in Australia.  I even ran into an impostor claiming to have Japanese lineage on my third day in Paris.  It is so demoralizing as such a conduct is enough to undo all the efforts made by the Japanese individuals living abroad through doing right by the local people, respecting the culture and customs of the country we visit or have migrated. 

Will I give into my despair?  Absolutely not, but I must have faith in physiognomy.    A pleasant visage is the only thing one gets to take with him /her when meeting our Creator who will see then how each of us lived.  No clever lies or self-victimization claims may work.  I wish you all a Happy New Year.

大晦日です。パリの「更」という手打ち蕎麦屋さん(一軒だけだそうで)で一人前をテイクアウト、フランス語でアンポルテしましたが美味しかったです。大掃除も終え2014年を振り返ります。三つの国境を越えた大移動、時折流した涙を思い、来年は少なくともブログの上では明るくしたいと思いました。政治的な内容のブログは今回で最後にします。 

パリの街もフランスの経済状況を反映してか乞食に溢れています。新しい年が皆の生活に少しでも希望をもたらしますように。不況の前から乞食を生業とする集団がいます。ボロボロのスカーフを巻いて物乞いするジプシーのお婆さん連ですが、若い時は私も同情していたものです。しかしイタリアで私は見てしまったのです。夕方になり物陰でジプシーの服から清潔でモダンな服に着替え、スカーフ外して髪をさらりとおろし、ちょっと高級なデリ・ショップに颯爽と入っていくのを。旅行先では哀れを装った物乞い婆とスリにご注意。 

ところで知り合いのルーマニア人はジプシーと混同されて差別に泣いています。全く違う民族なのに、数世紀前に心優しいルーマニア人が他で迫害されていたジプシーが住み着くのを容認した結果、現代になってからルーマニア国籍を持つジプシーが誕生。海外まで出稼ぎに行き、ルーマニアの名誉を汚す行いをした結果、本物のルーマニア人が海外で職を探す時に差別を受けるようになってしまったと友人が嘆いていました。物書きのサークルで知り合った、大学卒の完璧な英語で本まで書けるインテリな彼女なのに。 

でも他人事ではないと感じました。中国人によるサイトで見かけた記事、それは某国の人間が海外で問題を起こしたら日本人のふりをするという内容でした。私も数件、そういうのに遭遇しましたし、これで政府が外国人受け入れを緩和したら、どうなるか?折角海外で日本人の名誉を損じないように頑張っている人間の長年の努力が水の泡です。頑張っている自分が空しくなります。 

しかし誰の為でもない、自分の人相を守る為に己を律して生きていくのだと思えば力も湧きます。あの世にもっていけるのは一生の生き様を反映した人相だけですから。 

日本の皆様はもう新年を迎えておられる時間ですが、ご挨拶は次回にさせて頂きます。