Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hospitality comes at a price.

Hospitality is not easy. Its easy perhaps, when its staged, not when the stranger rocks up and intrude on our programs and plans. Its not easy when the stranger don't pay back. Its not easy when the stranger is poor and at your mercy, financially and socially. 

For many, hospitality relates to an industry. Its about good marketing. Its about cashing in on 'tourists', but also 'selling the country'. Yet, these concepts and understanding need to be unpacked. Using euphemisms can maim the rich-ness of the concepts itself and subvert it, to serve hidden agendas and interests. Of course, we can read the dictionary or even our sacred texts to try to grap hold of the meaning, but there's more. These texts won't be able to unearth the complexities and cost of what it means to 'welcome the stranger', to 'host the unwelcome'.

Many are chastized for a fear for the stranger. Perhaps it would be more apt to speak of 'hatred' instead of 'fear'. I would also be in the chorus condeming all forms of violence against refugees and immigrants. We should all be. But are we willing to concede our own 'fear' or perhaps 'hatred' of the other, in particular the black other-those that come and seemingly impinge and threaten our way of life ? How much are we (I use we intentionally here) willing to open our doors, our homes, country to those who cannot pay us back ? Its all about the cost, hey ?
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Musings.....