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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The M'Finda Kalunga Garden & it's Asian & Black Connection

On our way home after the meeting with the EI service coordinator, we stopped by a local playground. The rain had stopped and since Daniel was good during the meeting, he earned a chance to run around and have some fun. After running from different slides, jumping in puddles and throwing around wet leaves to see them stick...Daniel noticed the garden across from the playground. Pointing to the garden he told he saw flowers, which meant he wanted to go and see the flowers.

MFinda Kalunga GardenMFinda Kalunga Garden

Thinking it was just another community type of garden I wandered in with Daniel for a quick walk through. As we enter we're greeted by this older women who asks if Daniel wants to see the chicken's. Chicken's?! In a Chinatown garden?!

MFinda Kalunga GardenMFinda Kalunga Garden

Imagine my surprise...not to mentioned Daniel's when we see a rooster and a hen walking around in their cage. While I have seen live poultry before, this would be the first time for my son. His reaction? Eh. He didn't seem very interested.

MFinda Kalunga GardenMFinda Kalunga Garden

But apparently he was interested in the flowers and plants. He happily wandered around, lightly touching whatever interested him.

MFinda Kalunga Garden

The garden was actually larger then I thought. There was another section deeper in that we didn't explore due to time and hungry tummies. As we wandered our way back to the exit we posed for photos with some of the beautiful and colorful blooming flowers.

As we left the garden I looked at the plaque to see the name and received such a surprise.
The M’Finda Kalunga Garden means “Garden at the Edge of the Other Side of the World” in the Kikongo language. It is named in memory of the “second” African American burial ground that was located on nearby Chrystie Street between Rivington and Stanton Streets.
What is this....something for the Afro-American community within the asian community?! I thought that was very interesting and wondered how this little bit of history affected the mindset of the asian community who come to use the garden.

As my little blasian said goodbye to the garden and it's flowers, plants and poultry couple, I smiled to myself that it was because of him that I discovered this asian and black culture connection.

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