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Saturday, August 28, 2004


I loved these wonderful plates stuck on the outside wall on the road to Sagres in the South of Portugal.

While I was in Sagres I spent an eveing in Lagos in the Algarve. Lagos is a beautiful Portuguese town, home to a thriving British community (and other Europeans). This situation reminded me of the area my daughter lives in in Manchester where there is a thriving local Indian economy and community. In both Lagos and Manchester I was suprised to see how many people speak the local language so poorly. And in both places I was fascinated at a synergetic relationship between two different communities. Someone from the Indian community in Manchester is both part of and independent from the host economy, just as "the Brits" are in Lagos.

I've spent a lot of time wondering if it would be desirable and practical for the governments of either country to give people language lessons. It would be empowering for some of the (Indian) taxi drivers and shop keepers I met in Manchester to speak better English, just as it would be empowering for the (English) waitresses and shop assistants to speak better Portuguese.

But I haven't yet come to any conclusion.


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