|Symbolic red roses|
Among friends May 6th, we sat on the edge of our seats, anxiously counting down the minutes until 8pm, and when the photograph of Hollande filled the screen of our television, we lept to our feet screaming in joy, and wasted no time popping the cork on several bottles of champagne. Sam lifted me up in his arms and whirled me around in a circle before placing me on the ground and whispering “This is good news for you... for us.” I could have cried tears of joy. He was right, I can feel it is the dawn of a new France.
|A triumph for multiculturalism in France|
The air was filled with blaring car horns, cheers, singing, and noise makers. It was the sound of hope restored.
|Sam and I with our banner... We had a little help from Obama...|
It seems as if everyone I knew was celebrating at Place du Capitole; my law students, my colleagues and several friends.
Of course, Sarkozy’s supporters tried to stir things up, driving by hurling insults at the crowd, waving French flags (and middle fingers), but for the most part, things remained calm.
As Hollande addressed the country after his victory, he acknowledged the 17 year gap since the last left-wing president.
"Many people have been waiting for this moment for many long years. Others, younger, have never known such a time. ... I am proud to be capable to bring about hope again. I know what many people feel -- years and years of wounds, of ruptures, and we have to repair, recover, unite. That is what we're going to do together.”
The day after the election, world markets plunged, and eurozone debt fears have been reawakened around the globe. The media is speculating that the election of Hollande is a catastrophe for the debt crisis. I remain optimistic about Hollande’s plans to focus on growing the economy rather than Sarkozy’s austerity policy. I think much remains to be seen and that we should give the president-elect his chance.
I am absolutely overflowing with pride for my adopted country. This is fantastic news for me, as an immigrant in France. Possibly next year, I will have the right to vote in municipal elections. And who knows, in five years time, perhaps I will be voting in the next presidential election, as a French citizen! My life in France has taught me that all is possible, and now that there is a president who will look out for my interests, I am all the more optimistic that the dream will continue.
Vive la France. Le changement, c’est maintenant!