Originally Posted by Itaname:
Originally Posted by Danyael:
At some point one has to come up with a rational explanation as to why we are adversarial ethnic based cultures in the same social space and over two centuries are coming to a close and we have not build up a summoning creed that can categorize us as a people from a nation state sharing some common symbols and national identity.
My opinion - the indian is inherently racist for whatever reason (vestiges of the caste system, religious, or other). This will explain your cobras, basemans, brahmin susie etc. Of course this does not apply to all indians, in my own experience I find christian and muslim indians to be more tolerant.
I do not think the majority of indo guyanese are interested in a national identity, they see it as a denial of their indian roots and culture. Again - my honest opinion only and I welcome the barbs and arrows coming my way from the indo kkk.
Shaitaan and I had a lengthy exchange about the different forms of ethnic affiliation adopted by the Creole (African, Mixed, and Portuguese) and the Indians.
Creoles have an identity based primarily on nationality, and on culture, with ethnicity, and skin color playing secondary roles. Portuguese have shown no more interest in affiliating with Brazil, despite obvious historic connections. Afro Guyanese have no real interest in Africa. To the extent that they have a trans national identity, it is linked to the nearby Caribbean islands.
Creoles don't see their culture as from a single source, and in fact are quite proud of its diversity, which represents a synthesis of different cultures, operating on a continuum. An example will be the Saturday night Kwe Kwe, and the Sunday Anglican wedding. Both part and parcel of being creole.
Indians are ethnically exclusive, as indeed are Chinese. They bond around their ethnicity, with nationality being secondary. Whereas Creoles seek out a Guyanese identity, which is tied to a shared culture and value systems, to the Indian Guyana is a piece of real estate and a passport. In their view Guyana is land space shared by several "nations" each focused on their own issues.
So we have a problem when a Creole says that Indians refuse to be "Guyanese" and focus exclusively on being "Indian". The Indian feels that the Creole is forcing a cultural identity on him, and a debased one at that, and he wants to keep his own.
Ironically most Indians are quite creolized, though they will never admit it, because Guyanese of different ethnicities engage each other in the Creole space. This is apparently also true in Surinam, where almost every one knows that srnan tongo, the creole language, and use it as a vernacular, in addition to Dutch.
The notion that the creole culture is a synthesis of many cultures, quite fluid, and existing on a continuum, and has in fact already absorbed elements of Indian culture, escapes him. To the Indian creole culture is diluted and debased, and in fact evidence that Africans have no culture.
Let us look at any Guyanese cultural performance.
The Africans will perform music and dance with Guyanese origins, even if having strong African influences. They have no interest in performing what they think is Ghanaian, Nigerian, or Congolese, because their cultural identity is rooted in Guyana.
The Indians will perform either classical Indian dance, or Bollywood. The more indigenous forms of Indo Guyanese culture, interestingly enough fairly accessible to non Indians, will usually not be performed. They build their identity based on India, and view Guyana only as a place where they happen to be born. They remain uncomfortable in finding common space with other groups.
So here is the result. Creole culture then monopolizes Guyanese cultural space. How many Indo Guyanese folks songs do people know, and they do exist?
So its a bit simplistic to say that Indians are more racist. They are more ethnically exclusive, and that becomes problematic in a multi ethnic society.
Indians need to engage among themselves as to how they can reconcile their need to be a people with sharp ethnic boundaries, while operating in harmony with other ethnic groups.
An example of the ethnic boundaries is how the dougla is regarded. If a dougla wishes to self identify as "black", no one will stop him, and no one will think that strange. It is very unusual for a dougla to be accepted as being purely Indian however.
Africans don't have the sharp ethnic boundaries that Indians have, and so can more easily absorb those of part African ancestry as being fully African, if that is what they chose.
So we have the tensions in Guyana, which aren't just about politics.
Of course the cockroaches will again scatter because they wish to keep this topic under cover, or they will try to paint this discussion as racist.
FACT. This is the most important topic, because every aspect of Guyanese life has been distorted by the ethnic tensions of the past 55 years.
They were given an opportunity by Danyael to discuss this, and yet they refuse to, but because this is the core of Guyana's malady we are still talking 6 pages later. And it will popup again and again.