Fargo, N.D. — The pioneer Jews who homesteaded on the flat, wind-whipped high plains at the turn of the last century came from foreign lands, beat back bone-rattling prairie winters and eked out a community in hardscrabble farming colonies near here.
They would have recognized a kindred spirit in Biana Shilshtut.
A pioneer in her own right, Shilshtut came to North Dakota State University two years ago from half a world away in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the capital city in the foothills of the mountains of Central Asia.
Borders are alluring and charged places. In Orson Welles’ classic film “A Touch of Evil,” a psychological study of life at the border, the place where America and Mexico meet is full of shadows. It’s hard to get a fix on it. The old rules don’t seem to apply at the border, and a new reality is born of the collision of two worlds.