By Grace Alano
Last weekend, I had the honor and privilege of dancing with Barangay Dance Company. They are a Filipino-American dance company based in San Francisco. I used to dance with them in the mid-90’s and early 2000’s and am a member of their Board of Directors. I am truly lucky to live in a city as culturally diverse as San Francisco, where I have the opportunity to join such an amazing group. In this city, I can learn Indian Khattak dance, Brazilian Capoeira, or hula, if I like. I can attend international film festivals, watch performances during the month-long Ethnic Dance Festival, or sample a variety of world cuisines – except Venezuelan, to my disappointment (I am half Venezuelan). My love of different cultures is also what keeps me drawn to my profession of immigration law. One cannot be an immigration attorney and not have an interest in meeting people from other countries. It is a perk to get to be able to meet people from all over the world on a regular basis. I learn so much from my clients and their life stories. Immigrants enhance our life by opening us up to new perspectives and ideas. They also bring their innovation and the pioneering, risk-taking spirit that creates new business. If we can’t always travel, they can bring the world to us. And we, the children of immigrants (that is, all of us who were born here) can celebrate and appreciate our different backgrounds even though we are American. It is, in fact, what makes us American. Isn’t that beautiful?
Image by The Law Offices of Grace R. Alano. All rights reserved.