Why is speaking up against unitary idealism/tribalism important?
This is not about premature nationalism nor cultural privilege/false repentance of previous historical wrongdoings with collective guilt.
From time immemorable, the will to power of single-mindedly aiming, nations with narrow views of the political normative have sought and acquired power.
There was technical progress, for it made the work and communication easier – but the hurt and separation were and are bigger. China’s Uyghur and Tibet oppression, Russia’s attempt at cultural and geographical annexation of Ukraine, Nazi Germany’s evil, Japan’s imperialism and the ongoing attempts at the revival of army, Great Britain’s fiascos in the middle east. Difficult history is maybe more on the way. But we can do something about it. I think for once so can I.
My argument isn’t perfect – nor am I fully educated on the intricacies of history.
However; if we stop raising the strident questions towards the status quo – the world will become a much worse place. Quicker than we think.
That humane side, that little unwitting and humble moment (which in some cases I believe stops even war) will not be there anymore. I will not have the differences that make you think twice. You will not be much different from me. Albeit we are intrinsically equal. The little details that make us reaffirm that supreme truth will be a little harder to find. We will not think more before acting on aggression. In short – we will tend to make one another more equal in every single aspect as Winston in 1984 gave into the Big Brother. Because we all want to be deeply understood.
Yes, there are cheap emotions; there are transitory and baseless revolutionary will to criticise everything – but there are genuine critics that would keep many problems at bay. It is worth the risk of being pushed down and downtrodden on, at times ridiculed.
It is so worth it – I believe.
For that reason; I believe in the preservation of cultures, languages, and the figuring-outs of the foreign.
I would even dare say – stand for what you cherish.
Stand for the little intricacies of your own language; your own values that keep you humane. However little of use it may seem or it in actuality is.
Borrowing from my experiences; Poland has taught me many things – one of the good things I learnt here is; people remain humane. People know history, people wish to divulge uniqueness. This winter I finally picked up some Korean and East Asian history books and owned up to the fact that there were so much I had been taking for granted.
That again – being the person I am, having grown up in so many places and not having one single country to call home – is not my normative at all (remaining humane) to live a quiet life – I am very chaotic myself. Also because I would rather feel useful and efficient anywhere I go.
Albeit I have renounced the former myself – I believe that keeps me a little more grounded here. That brought me back all the way from Korea this March. Only to stay home and decide to write. I hope to be as expressive I am here, in the Korean language one day. To finally feel comfortable and natural in delivery/cultural context. I was actually inspired by how Polish people stood up for their history and stayed level-headed.
I am glad to be able to say – this is no identity politics manifesto. I am happy for once I can share the gratitude.
If reading more in the Korean language counts as an affirmation to this, to find myself that is a little lost astray; I’d say I am very grateful for friends around me who appreciated my country and culture – especially language.
Life here is teaching me more every day. Seems like my struggles of being culturally lost are quite worth it.