Monday, December 27, 2004

When I was a little girl, the Serbian community was tiny.
We pretty well knew each other, or of each other.
Since the bombings, the Serbian community has exploded here.

Many of the “refugees” or immigrants don’t want to be here.
This is a bitter wave, and people of my generation often have the attitude of "shut up, and go back if you don't like it here, but stop yer bitchin' and get on with life..."
But, this wave is fundimentally different because, they are here out of necessity, sending money back home to those family members who are helping to rebuild.
They want to be back home.
But, home is so destroyed that many young people don’t feel that they have a future.
Pensioners are committing suicide because of the conditions they are forced to live in with no money, in a country that went without paying it’s workforce while it was rebuilding itself.

Why do I mention this today?

Because I was watching a CTV documentary called Teaching Peace in a Time of War and it brought tears to my eyes.
For so many reasons…. so many reasons, many which are hard to articulate.
To see and realize that there are children of my heritage who are not familiar with peace.
To know that as that time was passing, now over a decade, that for some reason I was out of touch with the reality of time passing.
That the children and future generation of the people of my nationality do not know what living without fear is.

That this country, that I have such fond and loving memories of has been bombed into a third world country.

To the average Canadian watching this documentary, about a Canadian Teachers’ mission to teach conflict resolution strategies to Serbian Elementary and High School Teachers, is a feel good experience.
When I was a young girl, I used to pine for my culture to be depicted somewhere in film, now I cringe…because I know that it will be a biased and insulting characterization.
This documentary made me sad, because it depicted an educated and civilized culture as backwards, and obtuse.

To me, it’s a painful, sad and bittersweet commentary on a country and culture I love pointlessly destroyed protecting its own land, and rebuilding itself again.