Tuesday, June 07, 2016

I want you to celebrate this presidential election

No, not the one here in the US.  Our elections stink so bad that we will be better off if I didn't write anything about it.

The presidential election in Peru is the one that I am referring to.

Why Peru?  Not because of the potato.  You ready?

Think about Peru, and its location.  In South America, and Spanish as the language, right?  Think about the last names from that part of the world.  Next door in Bolivia, the fearless leader is Evo Morales.  On the other side is Ecuador's Rafael Correa.  You all set?

Ok, you are a sharp thinker, who is well informed.  So, you know where this is going.  I will get to it then.

The last names of the two presidential candidates in the Peruvian election: Fujimori and Kuczynski.  Read that again.  Would you ever expect the last names of the presidential candidates in a Spanish speaking South American country to be a Japanese name and a Polish name?  Sit, take a deep breath, and calm yourself down.

Yes, the 41-year old Keiko Fujimori is the daughter of the former president, Alberto Fujimori, who disgraced himself after a decade in office and is now behind bars.  The senior Fujimori's parents immigrated to Peru from Japan.  Over the years of following the Shining Path and how Alberto Fujimori put an end to that violent group, I was familiar with the story of his parents' immigration and, therefore, his fleeing to Japan when the scandals caught up with him.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's story is new to me.  He is the same age as Alberto Fujimori--77 years.  Kuczynski's parents, too, came to Peru at about the same time that Fujimori's parents immigrated from Japan.  In Kuczynski's case?
His Jewish father, a doctor, fled Berlin after Adolf Hitler came to power; his Swiss mother taught literature
Wikipedia offers more about the presidential candidate's family;
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard has been married twice, first to Jane Dudley Casey (daughter of Joseph E. Casey, member of the U.S. House for the 3rd district of Massachusetts), their offspring being corporate executive and technology entrepreneur, Carolina Madeleine Kuczynski, the journalist Alex Kuczynski,[9] and John-Michael Kuczynski. His current wife is Nancy Lange, with whom he has had a daughter. Kuczynski's younger brother Miguel Jorge is a fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge; and their first cousin is Jean-Luc Godard, the renowned French-Swiss film director. Kuczynski's brother-in-law Harold Varmus received the Nobel Prize for cancer research in 1989.
Fujimori v. Kuczynski, in a Spanish speaking South American country, is one awesome example of the wonderfully globalized cultures that characterize our contemporary existence.  Here's to wishing for a lot more of such mixing of ideas and cultures, but because people want to move and not because they are forced to move.

2 comments:

Ramesh said...

Yes, what a wonderful world it would be if Fujimori vs Kuczynski were to happen more often. Not much chance unfortunately, for territorialism in ingrained in our genes as a by product of the struggle for survival.

By the way, when the senior Fujimori stood for his first election all those years away, the public were swayed by the rumour that he was Japanese and therefore would bring in lots of Japanese aid ! Despite his denials, the rumour never went away.

Sriram Khé said...

I am surprised, shocked, that this multinational aspect has not been written up by pundits ... I suppose most Trump has sucked all the oxygen ;)
Of course, in India, an Italian-born woman almost became the prime minister ...
I know you were using "genes" metaphorically--but I do want to stand up on the box to shout that our territorial approach comes from social conditioning ;)

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