Friday, December 31, 2010

My Son's Favorite Cartoons (These Days)

"With Goofy and the Little Piano" [Moving Day] was made during the Great Depression. Disney's protagonists are members of the working class who lost their home because they cannot afford the rent, so they attempt to save their furniture from impounding and the authorities' auction.

"With the Musicians" [The Band Concert] incited the weirdest present request I've ever heard: "Daddy, buy me a storm! A big one, so I can play with it."

Oh yeah, :-) Happy New Year to all

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Introducing the Hunza Affair Abroad

This post also available in:
English at Global Voices (short version)
· Macedonia: Introducing the Hunza Affair
македонски на Блогспот · Претставување на аферата со Хунзите пред светот
македонски на Блогерај · Претставување на аферата со Хунзите пред светот

On the Nationalities Blog, Anastas Vangeli, aka Vuna, analyzes from the perspective of Orientalism an ongoing Macedonian political affair: fraternization with the “Hunza people” from the remote mountainous region of Pakistan, who claim ancestry from the soldiers of Alexander the Great.

Front page of "Orientalism" by Edward Said (1978)

I've written on this subject * before, and I'll repeat that I am sorry that instead of real appreciation of the culture of these people, and scientific, linguistic and historical/genetic research, the citizens of Macedonia get only politicking that brings profit to certain parties.

So far the pro-government media haven't shown recordings of Hunza people speaking in their native language [which is allegedly close to Macedonian, so I presume the facts would work against this fallacy], or from their everyday life. They only show some old photos in folk dresses and reiterate the claims of their promoters.

Moreover, the orientalistic stereotyping has been perpetrated not only by the critics of the affair, but by the promoters of the 'reunification' with the Hunza, too. Starting from Janko Ilkovski, the influential late-night talk show host (Jadi burek show on Nasha TV) who provided excuses for our long-lost Pakistani relatives by saying that they practice "a light version of Islam."

The latest example sounds like direct transmission of vicious Hindu Kush rumors, reminiscent of the scenes in the related film "The man who would be king" when villagers claim that their neighbors upstream are dirty bastards who intentionally urinate into the stream to give them hard time. This is an excerpt from Kanal 5 news item (bold is mine):

The Hunza live in northern Pakistan, administratively they are part of the Pakistani state from 1974, but they've retained their king. Besides the Hunza which number around 50,000, the Kalash tribe also consider themselves descendants of the army of Alexander of Macedon. Unlike the Hunza who are Islamized and educated, the Kalash are an ignorant tribe.

This fact is used by neighboring Greece, which opened a cultural center in the Kalash area, and donates significant financial funds for education of the Alexander the Great's lineage.
From such coverage, one can assume that "ours" Hunza people simply burst from being too educated, as if they have tons of universities and scientific-research institutions... I hope you noticed the accent of superiority of religious orientation i.e. the spreading of religious hatred.