Greetings, here's a few photos from the Karen New Year celebration in Albany, New York. It was a big event with Karen from all of the state present as well as others. Not as interactive as I'd hoped, it was largely a spectator oriented sort of event, but it was quite good.
The Karen people of New York State are taking progressively greater strides towards organizing the event themselves. For instance, this was the first year the Karen had handled the liability issues for the event themselves. Yes, having overcome war, famine, and political persecution, these people are now beginning to face the new challenges of New York State and its massive bureaucratic regulations.
First, we have a photo of me!! Yeah, that's me on the right. I was invited to gave a talk. I was thrilled to death. Alas, my talk sucked and the Karen attendees wished I'd cut it short so they could see more singers and dancers. They were thrilled, however, that I was able to say hello and thank you in Thai, English, Burmese, Sqaw Karen, and Pwo Karen, as well as Spanish (I threw the last one in for a joke. Alas, the Karen did not really like my jokes. Oh well, I've put in my time. I've got a right to tell jokes.
Finally, we've got another photo of me, that's me, back of my head on the left, with one of the organizers, a very intelligent Karen woman, and a reporter from the Daily Gazette in Schenectady. I used to write a lot of op-ed pieces for them but it's been a while since they've used much by me, Alas!
Now here's what they wanted to see instead of yours truly. Dancing and seeing girls! Really, who can blame them?