This is how you know you live in a good neighborhood.
My path home from Mount Tabor's summit takes me past Benjamin Franklin High School where today I beheld a pleasing sight.
But the reason I learned of the organization at all is because I saw the signs posted in front of Franklin and noticed something. They were written in 6 different languages!
One would naturally expect that there would be signs in both English and Spanish, of course. Spanish is the de facto second language of this country.
And no Portlander would be surprised to see signs in Mandarin or Vietnamese. Chinese people have been in Portland since the city was founded. Downtown Portland has a Chinatown section, with Chinese and Taiwanese consulates, but many Chinese people live in Southeast, as well. There are many Chinese restaurateurs and grocers. And the sheer number of pho kitchens (even within walking distance of my home!) attests to the city's ample Vietnamese population.
|Mandarin and Vietnamese|
And I wasn't too surprised to see the Cyrillic characters of the Russian language on one of the signs. Inner Southeast Portland has a significant Slavic demographic. I think most of the Slavs in Portland are Russian, but there are also many Ukrainians.
|Somali and Russian|
But there was one language that I couldn't readily identify. So, when I got home I did a Google Translate language identification.
The language turned out to be Somali. Apparently, there are enough Somalis in the area that the Kitchen Table folks felt it justified to have a sign printed up in their language.
Well, when it comes to diversity, Portland may not be San Fransisco or Vancouver (BC), but we're getting better. And I find it very cool to live in a neighborhood where there is a need for signs in a half dozen different languages.