Thursday, 29 April 2010

Kinship through the past

Whilst visiting The Troubles section in the Ulster museum, Tanya asked me: "Do you still feel pain when you think that once you were not free?" It was an unexpected question that I have never thought about before. Today all of a sudden while watching a movie in Queen's Film Theatre (QFT), this question flashed in my mind.

Well I answered Tanya that, we were born when our country was free so I don't much feel anything but at the same time I cannot but think of our past status when the word UK is mentioned. No offense here but collective memory is something that remains. I hope you will understand this.

Tanya also shared with me about her family members' experiences during the Trouble times and we both agreed that it did not affect us much as it did to the older generation.

The movie I saw today was the 1966 released 'The Battle of Algiers.' It was an old black and white film but it did move me. The quest for being free and the ability to breathe freely in one's own country was depicted with a liberal dosage of violence and emotions.

I was left thinking how it would have been to be living in a country that was not free. Even though it would not affected me overtly, the question always leaves me a wee bit stifled. Does it really matter? Does it make a difference?


  1. I think it does really matter and it does make a difference...
    maybe not to you...
    just ask your parents and the people of their generation who had to suffer the effect and result of f**** colonialism...
    Yes ... it's good to forgive but never to forget... because if we do, it'll happen again...
    Just my opinion... and it should count for it's happened to many of us, direct or indirectly...



  2. Susan... your post almost made me cry. I don't know if you know, but Egypt was also once colonized by the Brits... and the Turks... and the French... and the and the and the... We have a history of colonization. We didn't become free until 1952. My grandmother used to tell me about when she was a child... when she would be walking to school as a little girl... the British soldiers would stop her and offer her the chocolate from their rations... she told me she'd kick them in the shins and tell them "I don't want your stupid chocolate. Get out out of my country!" And she says that memory is from when she was seven years old. Can you imagine the psychology of a seven year old being ravaged by a foreign occupation? I would say it quite mattered... At least to them. We live such a sheltered life.


  3. Imagine being greeted by a sign "Dogs and Indians not allowed." And then the effects of colonisation will dawn upon you.

    We should be grateful that we are born in a free country, which is not occupied by foreigners or by dictators.

    India has a history of colonisation. First it was the Turks and Tajiks. The Mughals descend from the Tajiks and Mongols. Then came the Potuguese and then the British.

    You can imagine the plight of the people, when Aurangzeb desecrated the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Vanrasi and built a mosque over it. Or during the Portuguese inquisition, when the native Hindu population had to flee away with their deities and live in perpetual fear of being forcefully converted. It may not affect us, but these pieces of history is what keeps alive the desire to remain a free country.

  4. Growing up in a communism regime I have a whole set of opinions about this subject, but that would just take up too much room here.;))

  5. came here through PnA and found the first connection...the blog template :) just the difference of colors,that's it :)

    I think I'm going to enjoy my stay here !

  6. @Nu: U'll love it here, I vouch for that girl...:)

    Like Vinay said, when we see a board that has that bit of writing on it, then the realisation dawns and it makes the big difference!

    However, I have wondered out loud and laughed at when many friend were happy (jumping happy) when England lost to Australia in the Ashes or Tim Henman never made it to the finals of a Grandslam or they refused to watch the Wimbledon!! Just because they belonged to a country that colonised us for so long... It does hurt a lot, especially after reading Orientalism...and meeting ppl who have racist mentalities...

    Starting with the English language to the behaviour and ettiquette, we follow a British legacy! I admire Ngugi for that aspect, for turning to his native language to write...unlike many of us...

    I feel stiffled too and sad... but it is true, habits die hard!


  7. Hey, I just wanted to stop in and say thank you for your sweet words at Cynthia's. You made me smile. Sometimes, I feel like I've known you forever, Susan. I mean that truly. Have a beautiful weekend! :-)


  8. I was born and lived for nine years in a communist country terrorized by a dictator. I remember the food lines and my parents' suspicion of everyone they encountered.
    The people of my parents' generation are still afraid of every shadow. They take things as they are, they don't question, they don't want attention.
    So, yes, I believe it matters. The difference it makes is huge.

  9. It feels real good to be able to breathe in a free country.Freedom is a boon, words cannot fathom its significance or the way it makes me feel...We are free and are living it and this is the best.
    I am grateful to our martyrs who sacrificed so much for our sake, may God bless this earth...

  10. Dulce:

    Powerful words. Never to forget, yes.


    I didn't know I was touching on something very tender and raw, Nevine. In your words and Dulce's I sense a strong feeling of the past which is absent in me. I wonder about that.

    We definitely live sheltered lives!!!


    I have read about those lines in books but the enormity struck me when you emntioned them. For me more than the other colonisers, it's the British who have made a strong impression of being in chains. I can evern write someting like this only when I am in a free country!

  11. Zuzana:

    Communist regime!!! I am sure the scars are very much raw. You must tell me your experiences.


    Thanks for the visit and welcome! Glad that you took time to drop a line here. I do hope you enjoy your stay here. We love people, you see!!


    Long time. And thanks for that note of vouching for me. I love you!!!

    Yeah Ash, it does make a difference. I always thought that feelings of hatred is totally wiped off but remnants stay, I guess. It makes a difference to be born and living in a free country.


    Thanks for the time Nevine. Even i share such thoughts. You are truly a brilliant writer Nevine and Cynthia's dialogue was the icing on the cake.

  12. Angie:

    I understand the enormity of the word 'freedom' as i read through the various comments here. Many times people of our generation don't much think of freedom as it was already existing when we were born but nevertheless it does make a GREAT difference.


    How nice to see your comment! Missed you. Hope you are well. Right: words cannot fathom the emotions of being able to live and breathe freely.

    Did you know that Ireland was Britain's first colony? We have a lot of connections that way. That's why we share a kinship through the past.

    Joy always.

  13. Hi Susan :) (hugs)
    I am surprised to know that Ireland was previously a British colony!! I had never known this! Thank you for sharing. True, then we do have kinship through the past.
    Hope you are having a lovely, happy time :)
    take good care
    Lots of love and warmest regards

  14. Ruchi:

    Oh yes, it was. Belfast in in Northern Ireland which is under UK but Southern Belfast where Dublin is, belongs to the Republic of Ireland. We can't go there as we need to have an Irish visa. We only have an UK visa.

    I am giving you good gyan now :)

  15. Ohh! amazing!
    Yes indeed this is real good gyan hehe...and thank you again for it my friend :)
    happy day!
    take care...

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