Thursday, 24 April 2008

makes you wonder

So anyway. I am using my Mum and Dad's truck to get around. You gotta love diesel! A dollar will buy you enough diesel to drive around for a week, or it seems that way to me after driving the gas-aholic.

Plus, if there is a sudden flood or fallen tree, or I dunno, a CLIFF to get by on the way to the city, it won't stop me! No siree! 4x4 rules! We are bigger than everybody!

My clutch leg is tired though. I have become a wimp. The boys and I had a great time this morning, looking at all of the cars on the road and going "Oooo! Let's get one of THOSE!" They like anything with plenty of "bling": flashy spinny rims, extra tall spoiler with LED LIGHTS! Oh yeah, we'll definitely get one of those!

On a more serious note: As we hopped into the wonderful vehicle this morning, the radio was tuned to the BBC (that's 98.7, Trini). I realised that it was Bad News about more killings in the Congo, so I reached over to change the station... Just as Sam reached over to turn it up loud, and gave me "the hand". "Wait," he said. "I want to hear."

There was a brief intro, and then a boy was interviewed about the night armed men came into his house, killed his mother as she breastfed the baby, cut up baby brother, chased the boy down, cut off his leg, tied his father by the ankles to two trees and lit a fire under him. The boy and his father escaped with the baby.

The translator was a woman, and told the boys story very well. A reporter asked questions like "what about school?" He walks, on crutches, with one leg, for two hours to get to school now. And two hours back. School is important to him, because he would like to get a job some day. He wishes he had a bicycle, and a fake leg that they told him about in the hospital. That would make getting around easier. Hearing the child's story in his own words, his own voice in the background, drove me to tears.

Why is it that in some countries there is such hate? It is so hard for my boys to understand. They have grown up in a multi-racial family, in a multi-racial school, in a multi-racial country. We sing in our National Anthem, "Here every Creed and Race find an equal place, and may God bless our nation; here every Creed and Race find an equal place, and may God bless our nation."

That's the ONLY line that's repeated, as if it is the most important thing to Trinidad and Tobago. This morning we discussed war, and hate, and how lucky we are here. Trinis not only accept but actively encourage one another's differences. Where else but Trinidad would the local Mosque lend their land out for Divali lighting and celebration, as they did in Chickland Village recently? Where else would Christians KNOW that their friends are fasting, and arrange their own life to suit? We say "Merry Christmas! Subh Divali! Eid Mubarak!" and we mean it. I suppose getting a public holiday for every imaginable religious observance helps!

Of course, there is ignorance here too. Politicians love division; what better way to rule than to divide? But they are very much in the minority. Trinis generally will not tolerate intolerance. Why are we so lucky? How can we spread this tolerance around?

5 comments:

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Not sure how I found your blog but just wanted to say that I really enjoyed today's post. SOunds like your country should be the role model for other less tolerant nations.

Will be back - enjoyed reading!

Hallie

witchypoo said...

I have observed that islands are usually more xenophobic than larger, less insular land masses.
Good on Trini!

Melissa said...

That just makes my heart ache. Even in America where there is a fair amount of social justice, there is that underlying "Every man for himself" attitude that causes divisiveness, hate and injustice. The only solution (in my mind) is to eradicate that attitude and replace it with a communal spirit.

LceeL said...

From your mouth to God's/Allah's/Yaweh's ear.

Candygirlflies said...

Oh, I can't wait to visit your country someday... It sounds like a truly wonderful place.

Here in Canada, we call ourselves a "multi-cultural mosaic". I love that people of all national backgrounds and religions are welcomed and their traditions are embraced here... it makes me so proud.

It does not make it easier to explain such issues of hatred as the one you described today... And my children, like yours, are old enough to be asking Questions... "Why do people hate? Why do they hurt and kill?" are Questions that I have no answers for...

Love to you xo CGF