Kicking Mr. Tumnus

We read chapter 2 of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe this morning – that’s the part where Lucy meets Mr. Tumnus and he feels guilty for kidnapping her, asks for her forgiveness, and then sneaks her to safety at great risk to his own life. We asked the students what they would have done if they were Lucy. Everyone said they would forgive Tumnus like Lucy did, except for the class clown who said he’d fight, but not before our stereotypically-cute-7-year-old-Asian-girl said, “I would kick him!”

Welcome to the City

This guy’s sign says, “I’m looking for a women to marry” and “Please come talk.”

His sign, the cobble stones, and his clothes and appearance compared to that of the people around him suggest that he’s a peasant from the countryside who has migrated to the city. In this picture he’s in some downtown shopping area surrounded by middle-class urbanites, looking for a wife.

Every year in China, migrant workers equivalent in number to the entire population of Canada move from the countryside to the city seeking work and escape from rural poverty. Collectively they are referred to as “China’s floating population.”

If this guy manages to marry an urban resident he’ll likely be able to legally stay in the city. Otherwise he won’t have legal residency when his work (usually unskilled labour on building projects) is done. Without legal residency, he’ll have to maintain an illegal, impoverished existence on the fringes of urban society or go back to the rural poverty from which he came.

Rapid urbanization is a global trend, and in our lifetime we’ll have – for the first time ever in human history – more people on the planet living in cities than in the country.