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This American mess

“Our parents felt the need both to preserve our culture, but also to show us how we fit in,” said her daughter, Dr Vidya Ramanathan.

That family dinner in 1980 gradually turned into a Thanksgiving rash held at Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor, a local chapter of an international Hindu organization. But, in the midst of the pandemic, this event, which attracts more than 1,000 people, would be considered a potential super-spread event.

Michigan recently ordered new restrictions to curb the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. Dr Ramanathan, 44, an emergency department pediatric doctor, said his mother had already planned to host the celebrations on Zoom. “As a healthcare worker, I have a real seat in the face of suffering,” said Dr Ramanathan.

The usual activities are still scheduled, virtually: making dosas, recitations of Shanti Mantras and competitive games of Antakshari, the song playing. Last week, Ms. Kumar led a two-day Diwali celebration attended by more than 500 families, all online.

“They would say to my mother, ‘Aunt, it was like you were partying in our own house,’” said Dr Ramanathan. – PATRICE PECK

Jeramy Neugin, 44, is a magician from Lost City, a community of about 800 people in Cherokee County.

Until recently, he and his father, Bobby Neugin, 69, performed together as Lost City Magic. Their show consisted of telling myths about the Cherokee, including “bringing back a swarm of living wasps from a handful of dirt, extracting living snakes from designs, using a preserved finger from a Bigfoot to bend coins and trap demons in Dreamcatchers, ”wrote young Mr. Neugin. in a Twitter direct message. (Lost City has no telephone reception.) The eldest, Mr Neugin, retired after suffering a stroke, but he still helps his son, who recently moved in to take care of him, to develop routines.