We found these Russian musicians near the entrance to the Rijksmuseum, playing classical music. They were really good, so we bought their CD. Notice the young woman playing the Mother of All Balalaikas. Pretty impressive. I couldn't help wondering what their story was. Why had they left their homeland? Whenever I'm tempted to think of people from a country in a political or stereotypical way, I'm often reminded that people are not their country, are not defined by it. This was one of those times.
Howard Giskin is the author of
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