I don’t like covering topics that are on the news all the time because I want this section to be fun and informative. Unfortunately, the act of aggression happening in Ukraine has really made me rethink the deep-rooted relationship with imperialism and colonialism that exists in the Western world, more specifically the UK where I’ve spent the last 5 years of my life.
- Two days after Putin decided it was a good idea to invade his neighbours, I was at lunch with my colleagues, discussing if we would voluntarily conscript ourselves.
- My more senior colleague chimed in, “I don’t wanna speak Russian, therefore I must go fight in the war.”
- I thought to myself, I bet the countries that the British Empire colonised didn’t want to speak English either.
- They fought and “lost” so they were forced to adopt the language of the victor.
- I asked them “if the Russians won the war, would you speak Russian?”
- They said no.
- How ironic that they refuse to learn a different language yet turn their nose up when others, who clearly only learnt English because it was the language of the victor, are not proficient.
- I concluded that because of colonialism, the entitlement was taken for granted and has become so innate that people don’t realise it.
- I also strongly think it impedes progress.
- Why wouldn’t you want to see more and learn more especially when you have the resources to do it as a developed country.
- Back to the point, going to fight a war because it threatens your way of life is admirable and respectable, being the only reason why you would fight the war is extremely foolish.
- And maybe it's this deep-rooted sense of superiority that has seen the decline of British influence in the past 3 decades.
- Then there comes the question of how the west have traditionally ignored conquests such as the one our friend Putin is on, brushing it aside as too far outside the West to care.
- Some even deem it as a necessary conquest.
- There’s our old friend imperialism again.
- The worst part is that while the UK is condemning the actions of Russia, the UK parliament was passing a bill which makes seeking refuge from war harder.
- The gesture politics to cover up the nationalistic, colonial mindset that has long plagued this country is just the cherry on top.
- The west needs to wake up from its overdue dream of dominance or it might be too late.
- And that is when speaking Russian becomes a real possibility, a shark that does not swim sinks.
This week’s piece was more personal and reflective so treat it with a pinch of salt. Social commentary or personal rant? You decide!