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  The young and innocent will feel for them like I used to…only I wondered why they all wore the outdated gypsy clothes in this twentieth century.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.