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Monday, December 31, 2012

Reader's Diary #926- Alina: Transatlantic New Year's Eve

Spending the last day of the year in Florida and... Moldova?

This week's Short Story Monday post (the last of 2012) was pre-written and postdated. As you may be aware, I'm vacationing in Florida at the moment and didn't expect to have a lot of time for blogging (though I guess I'll have plenty of time in queue at Hogwarts). So, in anticipation of this trip, I went looking for short stories written by Floridians and/or set in Florida.

That's when I stumbled upon an unexpected bonus. This week's author is originally from Moldova, but now lives in Florida. I say this is a bonus because I've also been trying to read my way around the world and this allows me to check Moldova off of my list as well. She goes by the name of Alina, no last name, probably as she was only 16 and wrote this as an entry into a contest hosted by author Mitali Perkins. Because of her age I was only going to review it if I liked it. And, well, here I am.

"Transatlantic New Year's Eve" is not set in Florida. It's somewhere unspecified in the U.S. but there's a casual mention of shoveling the driveway, so clearly not Florida. The narrator, Valerica or Valerie as she is known in school, is talking to her aunt back in Romania on New Year's Eve. Valerica is clearly missing Moldovian culture at this time and it causes her to reflect on her increasing Americanization. It's quite well-written.

I can relate but to a lesser degree. During the holidays, there are certain customs and traditions we had in Newfoundland that I'd miss in Yellowknife, except that it's easier to keep some of them alive. Most Canadian grocery stores carry some Newfoundland food (salted beef, salted cod, Purity products) and so I've always been able to cover that angle easily enough. Plus, Newfoundland, while different that the rest of Canada, isn't as vastly different as Moldova must be from the U.S. Furthermore, most Canadian cities have large Newfoundland communities if one felt the need to reach out, and besides all that, holiday traditions are being lost in Newfoundland as well. If I miss "mummers," for instance, there's no need for me to blame living in Yellowknife— I'd be missing them if I lived in Newfoundland. The culture is changing.

Anyway, I appreciated Alina's story of family, culture, and immigrant struggles, as well as the personal reflection she provoked.

To you and yours, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's. Wherever you are.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


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