March 2, 2010

Love thy Conqueror!

As you travel you will visit many countries who had been colonized by one or another colonial power. You will also probably become aware of a strange paradox- usually, if Country A was Colonized by Country B, and Country B was richer and more developed than Country A, many of the natives of Country A will continue loving and admiring it long after the independence; despite the horrors perpetrated by the colonial power on its soil. It does not matter that Country B was dictatorial and oppressive. It does not matter that it had killed and tortured the natives of Country A. Many people there will love and respect the culture of Country B and treat Country B tourists and investors with supreme welcome. On their vacations, they will yearn to go to visit the former overlords' capital city and brag to their family and friends of their travel to that place.

In Latin American countries, anything that is related to Spain is still seen as sophisticated and proper. Never mind that Spain destroyed so much culture of South America and so many natives died from diseases brought there by the Spaniards. They were masters and they were stronger than S. Americans. They were richer, too- through stolen wealth, but hey, it does not matter.

The admiration for anything Spanish is alive and well there. Being fluent in the Spanish language is seen as a sign of being cultured and "high-class". Listening to music from Spain is also seen as something very respectworthy.

In the US, a person with a British accent is seen as someone very intelligent, and one of the main destinations of American tourists is still Britain.

In the Philippines, after all the struggle for independence, the natives proudly display American symbols and wear bright T-shirts with letters "USA" on them. The dream of many a Filipino is still to go the States.

Malaysians also love going to London on holidays and British tourists are received with a big smile
and a warm handshake when they visit Kuala Lumpur. Tunisians and Moroccans look up to France. The dream of many a Ukrainian is to go to Moscow to live. Taiwanese teens go crazy about Japanese music and culture.

However, if the colonizers was poorer than the colonized, the former colonial subjects have nothing but scorn for them. The Balts discriminate against the Russians and do not want them in their countries but may look up to Germany in spite of what the Germans had done there. The Vietnamese have the same scornful attitude towards the former USSR while young people there adore anything American and marriage to an American is a desirable choice of many a Vitenamese woman. Go figure! But then again, who has got more money? The Russians do not cowtow to Ulaan Bataar or dream of visiting the Mongolian capital on their honeymoon. Few dream of emigrating to Lovely Mongolia or studying there. The Mongols were powerful militarily but they were not necessarily richer than the Russians when they put thousands of them to the sword.

I guess it is human nature to kowtow to and respect the strong and the rich, no matter what bad things they have done to you. After the revolutions and the wars of independence pass, the former "oppressees" are back to the business of adulating the former oppressors.

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