Last week, I attended a literary event called Laughing at Borders | An evening with Ari Belathar.

It was a reading of screenplay written by Ari Belathar who was in exile from Mexico. The story was basically people from Mexico (and El Salvador) are crossing borders to enter the U.S. It was intense, emotional and humorous at times.

The play tells why people are crossing border(s) either legally or illegally and what they are hoping for.

After the play, there was a panel discussion and it was very interesting, too. There are many mentions on American/Canadian dream and how much they hope that their children will be successful. One of the attendees stood up and shared her experience. Her parents immigrated to Canada (or U.S.) and worked very hard to raise their children including her. She went to a university, received a degree and now she is working as an engineer at a mining company. She said the show and discussion raised her awareness because she achieved American/Canadian dream, but she is working for mining company and is not contributing to “her people” (people who live where she come from). Because Vancouver has high concentration of mining companies and recently violence against mining workers in Mexico and Guatemala is becoming an issue according to one of the attendees.

granville bridge

As I lived in Japan, an independent island, the idea of border is very new to me. When you need to go to other country, you will have to take a ship or fly. However, between North America and South America is different, it is connected and there are borders between countries. The perception of border must be different from people to people depending on their backgrounds like our personal space is different each other.