English, no suprise there, but wait ... there's also French, Spanish, German, Greek, now Turkish and in a few months Korean. Those are the languages that my writing has been translated into over the years. I got a real thrill this morning when a Fat reader Gün Osborn sent me one of my posts as it looks translated into Turkish. I looked at the letters and couldn't pick out a single word but felt a thrill none the less.
I forget, I wonder if WE forget, that our community is international, our concerns universal, our struggle everywhere. I know I do. When I first moved to Quebec, where I lived for ten years, I was quite startled to see a kid with Down Syndrome in Magog speaking French. He opened his mouth and out came ... French. It was weird that that surprised me. Of course he would speak his mother tongue, but somehow it took me aback.
Too, the time I was in Amsterdam and one of the guys who worked in the falafel store had an intellectual disability and there he was speaking Dutch and doing Dutchly things. He was struggling to make our order for 50 falafels (yes 50 - we were particularly hungry that night, so hungry that we walked weaving back to the hotel, laughing over the slightest thing ... in the morning we'd eaten 49 ... which was because we found one had fallen under the bed) but anyways there he was speaking Dutch.
This blog has a feature where I can, through sitemeter, figure out where readers come from in the world. The first time I did this and saw readers spread across much of the world I was in awe. And now this morning Gün Osborn sends me a little treat. Very very cool. But it set me to dreaming about what a powerful impact we could make as a worldwide community. As people who, around the world, demand justice and peace and gentleness for all children, for all people - including our brothers and sisters with disabilities.
I know this sentiment is trite ... but trite as it may be it's never been actually tried. I just know that parents of kids with Down Syndrome in the Ukraine will have similar stories to tell as parents in Richmond B.C. - and I know from travelling in a chair that there is a universal 'AAARRGG' over accessiblity and attitudes towards wheelchair users.
Pipe dream or not, it was nice to be reminded that we are everywhere, and to those readers in Turkey that are about to get a shot of Chewing the Fat ... Welcome.