One of the things I love about living in this crazy housing complex is the proximity to the summer fireworks going on in the park across the road. There seem to be more fireworks set off in that park between June and August each year than in any park I have ever lived near in times past.
This evening there was some sort of country music concert going on out there, which fortunately I could not hear as I sat in the dining room doing some paperwork, however, at 10:20 pm I heard a sound like a series of gunshots and some loud whining siren sounds. Aaaaah....fireworks! YAY!!
I ripped open the front door and stepped onto my front porch to enjoy the display. A handful of neighbour kids were assembling on the lawn to ooh and aah over the beautiful coloured lights.
All of a sudden a group of Muslim mothers came running out of the front doors of other suites. As the loud bangs and sizzling whines of the fireworks filled the night these newly arrived refugee moms were clutching their hijabs about their heads, screaming, crying and attempting to drag their children back home. One of the moms succeeded in getting her small daughter inside, slammed the door, turned out all the lights and drew the curtains.
One of the other Muslim women in our complex who has been here for several years recognized immediately what was going on and shouted at the other upset moms that it was okay. It was only fireworks, not bombs and guns going off. She raced over to them and quite a loud conversation ensued as she explained about the park events and how over the course of the summer there would likely be many more howling, banging light displays. The rest of the moms looked uncertain and continued to haul their children home again. My neighbour who had tried to explain what was going on shrugged and told me it is going to take some time for some of them to make the cultural adjustment after living in war zones.
No kidding! Those poor women were scared to death. It was quite a scene going on out on the front lawn in the dark with the fireworks bursting loudly overhead.
And so once again we have opened our doors to thousands of emotionally scarred foreign immigrant refugees from war torn countries and given them zero information about what it means to live in Canada. Yay us! Sigh..........
I think as soon as they saw the lights most of those moms realized they didn't have to be upset, but the reaction of fear and running still left over from the horrors of war they so recently faced in their home countries before they came here will not leave them for a long time, if ever.
It was quite an experience for me to see that going on. It will assist me in being kind and friendly when I run across these women in the course of each week as we live our lives side by side here.