“I grew up in the South Pacific, in Fiji. I came here after high school, and had to get used to a lot of things. I experienced culture shock: a new environment with different people, expectations and assumptions.
It made me want to hang on to the culture of the country where I had spent my formative years. Instead of wanting to assimilate, I decided to stay true to my accent and the things I grew up with. Basically, I was hanging on to the familiar in a world of the unfamiliar.”
“What’s an example of the cultural differences between Fiji and the U.S.?”
“In the culture I grew up in, men wear a sulu, which is similar to a sarong and looks like a skirt. But here? Not so much, unless it’s a kilt. In Fiji, it’s a masculine thing—men wear it all the time and no one bats an eye. Here, if you wear a sulu or a sarong people will ask you, ‘Why are you wearing a skirt?’ You have to explain that it’s not a skirt, but they’ll still insist that it is. It makes you realize how things are perceived in different environments and societies. In one place, they have assumptions that something is masculine while something else is feminine. When you go somewhere else, it could be completely different, or even the exact opposite. People become confused if you use the same scheme as before—they find it jarring.”
Here is some recent news coverage on the beginnings of gentrification coming to the northwest Bronx:
“That type of letter is not a renewed-lease-letter; it’s a put-people-out letter,” said Christian Ramos, the vice president of the Kingsbridge Road Merchants Association.
EXCLUSIVE: Amid Re-development of Kingsbridge Armory, Rents To Double For Some In August (Norwood News)
“It’s frustrating. You don’t know if you’re coming or going,” said Bass, who feels as though it’s a type of legal eviction. “That’s just giving us three weeks to increase our rent, make a decision, get out, stay. This is really horrible. And these are families trying to stay.”
The world’s largest ice rink complex is coming — but many local businesses likely won’t be there to see it.
WATCH: Kingsbridge Road shops face increased rent, possible closure amid building of ice skating center (News 12 The Bronx)
Tenants say a new landlord is starting to double their rents because the Kingsbridge Armory is reopening as a huge ice skating center in a few years, and property values are already starting to skyrocket.
This is what we’re doing to stop it: People Power Movement Fighting Gentrification in the Bronx
1. Be proactive and go for what you want.
2. Go for novelty and try something new.
3. Cut yourself, and other people, some slack.
4. Look for, and think about, the good in other people.
5. Opt for kindness and tenderness.
6. Be spontaneous, and please yourself sometimes.
7. Make time to relax – to laugh, and have some fun.