Posted by: dutchimport | January 22, 2007

Immigrants

Yesterday I saw a piece on Regina Spektor, a 26 year old up and coming sensation! She writes her own songs, and has her own style, influenced by her Soviet heritage. Her parents left Russia in 1989, after the Cold War was over, and moved to Brooklyn, NY. Regina was 9, and they stared all over from scratch in a new place. It just reminded me of the stories I listed to at the Shoah Foundation of Holocaust survivors who immigrated after the war. It made me think about my friend Yelena’s story that came to the States as a refugee with her husband and two young sons. A family in Savannah took them in, and even though Yelena was grateful for this, it was the most difficult time of here live, because she and her husband are so humble; they hated having to live of “charity” and being supported by strangers. They are now living here in LA, and made a good life for them, and their kids are now both in college. Yelana now uses her former KGB uniform when she goes to a Halloween party! Gotta love her!

I’m an immigrant too. I had the privilege to make a conscious decision to leave a western civilized, democratic country to build a live in LA where I am more creative and be the artist I didn’t feel I could be in The Netherlands. The hardships I went through are nothing compared hat my friend and the Spektor family went through or any immigrant having to leave everything behind because of a horrible situation in their homeland. Once again, I got reminded of a phrase that stuck with me. It was one of the Holocaust survivors who made it to the States after having survived the war. He said that “immigrants have a stronger purpose in life, a drive to succeed to make sure it was worth it”.
Not to dismiss any native person in the States or any other country that they don’t have a drive to succeed, but yeah, I do believe that immigrants, including myself struggle harder to make a life that was better then the one that we left behind.
Check out regina Spektor: http://www.reginaspektor.com

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