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Today is another pseudoholiday in an endless month at home (although as of today we are in stage 3 in San Mateo County). We have gotten e-mails from some administrators stating that they have gotten paid time off today. However, as we are all working remotely, who is to know if you are working today or not?

I´m on a constant learning trip while here, and not only on things science or work related. Being immersed in a new country and culture, it gives a different perspective of the people and place you are at. As for Juneteenth, as far as I understand it is not a real holiday, although widely celebrated by the black community to commemorate the freeing of slaves in the US. It is a noteworthy day, but I am sure I wouldn´t have known about it if the president hadn´t planned a rally for it. So when the president says that he made Juneteenth famous, he is in essence right, but famous in the non-black communities.

It is strange that communities here live together (or segregated) and we don’t know much about each other. For one thing, I was surprised when there was no mention of either Ramadan or Eid in any of the American news media I read. This is despite the large Muslim population in the US and most of the world. But alright, Muslims and Islam have been stigmatized in the US for decades now, so that could be a reason. But in general, there is little, if any, fuss about religious holidays or observances, other than christmas (and possibly hanukka) here. Although we are in a melting pot of multiple races, nationalities and cultures, we don´t experience any of it here, except possibly through foods and restaurants.

So much for celebrating diversity, but at least we get to celebrate progress today, in the value of life, regardless of their origins or skin colors.

Happy Juneteenth!

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