Monday, October 20, 2014

Rejected for Speaking the Language

In many countries which had been colonized before, the foreigners who go and live there find a very strange and sick phenomenon- they are accepted in the reverse proportion to how much they want to integrate. In an ideal situation, a foreigner who comes to a new place should gain acceptance based on how much he's willing to integrate into the local culture-- with language being the main tool. The more effort he puts into it, the greater are his chances. In a colonially oppressed cultural situation, a perverse thing happens which does not make sense- your integration depends on how much you resemble an ex colonial master in speech and in looks. The more you do so, the greater is the respect and the more benefits are bestowed upon you such as friends, dates, hospitality, etc. However, if you try to learn the local language, some locals start yelling at you, curtly replying in the colonial language, eyes narrowed, lips tightened in anger. A paradox occurs: the more you try to integrate by respecting the local's culture, the worse the locals treat you. It basically means this: if you want to be loved by them, don't learn the local language, don't study the local culture, act like a pompous Brit, Spaniard, Dutchman or American. And they'll love you for it. Sick, sick, sick! It doesn't make sense. It's a mental disorder which is the result of cultural abuse by the ex colonial master resulting in deep inferiority and self hatred. And if you don't love your own culture and if you disrespect yourself, then you won't respect the person who wants to learn about your culture. You will shun him and think he makes fun of you. You will look down on him because you look down on yourself. And you look down on yourself because your colonial master looked down on you for so long! Seen it in so many countries, so many places. Is this how things are in many places? Yes! Is this a normal thing; the way it should be? No! After the colonials go home, should you not stop pining for them, should you not get rid of your inferiority complex and move on with cultural life in your country and in your language? Should you not start welcoming newcomers as a host and master, and not as someone who has to make excuses for being what he is? Just my thoughts.

No comments: