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We Are the Same

As some of the action partners from across the globe had not come, at that day, we were allowed to do something we wished such us sleeping for all day, sightseeing around New Delhi and talking and networking each other. I had decided to join those who would have a visit around the city as we would be busy and overwhelmed with that wonderful Kaleidoscope event of Oxfam International Youths Partnership program. Finally, my friend from my native land, I and an action partner form Librarian could form a small group and we started our journey to the city. I would say we all really got a great time experiencing the magnificent, interesting and diverse taste of India unless we faced and witnessed this issue.

Let me share you a story in which I myself was. Exactly! We three started our visit joyfully. However, throughout the way, I was very uncomfortable although it was not to me directly. When we three were on the roads of Delhi, my Librarian friend was being at the centre of attention. In my native land, when foreigners are seen, people usually look at them sternly and interestingly. I think, in some small communities, people are used to be interested to those who differ from them in terms of appearance. So, as were foreigners then, we may be interesting strangers for the local residents. However, as Myanmar and India are much closed neighboring countries, although we do not resemble each other exactly, our appearances are not so different.

As we were speaking in English, the local people knew we are strangers. They looked at us, whispered each other and giggled staring us. However, most of their behaviors were not to me and my fellow citizen and theirs were to our very lovely friends from Librarian. Obviously, as she is a member of African family, she possesses black skin. She was wearing their traditional costume. She was very apparent among us and she was quite easily to be visible in the crowd. We experienced that people were gazing us especially her, pointing to her and laughing at and talking.

The longer we were strolling, the more suffrage she occupied. When we had our lunch hungrily, she did not eat any food and she was crying. That was so upsetting experience for her. She is one of the very out spoken, cute, friendly and helpful women I have ever seen. So when I faced my partner was very disappointed, I was very nervous and overwhelmed and I did not think of the best way I could soothe her.

I believe that Indians do not have any intention to insult her or to make her suffer but she was very sad and she felt it is because of her dark skin and the place where she is from. However, one’s unintended behavior made another suffer. Although we could record a magnificent journey seeing India’s cultural wealth, diverse and interesting scenes, we all were pretty quiet and sad. Whenever I heard her sorrow words, I was also very unhappy. And the experience stimulated me and enlightened my thoughts.

I do not absolutely want to blame Indians and I understand human’s nature. None of them did not seem recognizing his or her behavior. I am not blaming my friends. Her suffering is not exactly because she is week and not tolerant. As we have experienced such kind of racism and discrimination in our life and in this world, some of the incidents may trigger our emotions and feelings.

It is not only the issue of India. It is not only the issue of Liberia. It is not only my suffering. It is not only your suffering. It is all of ours. It is the issue of the whole world. If we do not have any discrimination against race, sex, religious, age and so on, anyone of us will not have to be sad for who we are and where we are from. Asians and Europeans are not different in terms of human dignity. Africans and Australians have the equal rights to be respected. As a human being, we all are same. I wish we could reach a world where no one is discriminated, no one is violating, all are believed to be equal and everyone understand fundamental human dignity, rights and responsibilities.



irmia's picture

Nice Story :)

I can feel it too... it happens to me a lot also. First time, I felt so frustrating, but then I realize (just like what you said): "It is not only my suffering. It is not only your suffering. It is all of ours". :)


Insha Allah's picture

It is all of ours!

Dear Mia,

Even in last week, my boss told us that the suffering of one of her friends who was treated badly regarding racism. I am so sorry to hear such kind of story. I really wish we all can reach a better world where all of us are treated equally.

Best regards,
Insha Allah

Shwe Wutt Hmon

Nusrat Ara's picture

There are diffrerent resons

There are different reasons for discrimination. This is one of those based on skin colour and dress. At times the world is such a strange place. But we don't have to lose courage. we have to move on.



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