Sorry bro but if you knew the history of this god for saken war. The concetration camps were not opened for a few years after the actual begining of the war. It’s called the final solution which was a sick and twisted scam to eliminate foes of fascism and the jewish race. Again an exaggeratation and manipulation from the uninformed.
Well of course you are entitled to your views, but in your assumptions about me you make the condescending but forgiveable mistake of equating strong opinions with ignorance and firmly held views with narrow-mindedness.
I think ‘way of life, belief system, art, architecture, language, way of relating to the world’ is a fair summary of what culture means, if not I am sure Wikipedia can help out.
Actually I have lived and travelled all over the world, frequently working with local groups to protect fragile environments and the people who depend on them. I would never profess to a comprehensive understanding of Asia or anywhere else, but many years living and working (often with indigenous minority peoples and also with governments and business) in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines (not to mention the Middle East) have helped a little.
Yes I do regret the loss of biological diversity, the death of languages, of art forms, of societies that organise themselves differently from our own. And no, I cannot understand why mighty nations feel so threatened by these things, when they should be confident enough to nurture and celebrate them. And if that is sentimentalism then so be it, but contrary to your view, I know I am not alone in my views.
What I have learned is that the more I think I understand the more I find I need to understand. I do not have a utopian view of these cultures and environments; but I do know that they often mean a lot to the people who belong to them, that most indigenous groups want development but want to hold on to their own values too and to choose how change happens, that mostly the change happens too fast for them to be able to do that, and the bringers of change are at best ignorantly careless and at worst brutally opportunistic. It has happened through history and yes I have seen it happen first hand. The friendly hand of development soon turns to the business of land grabbing, resource theft, forced integration, displacement, corruption, indentured labour, repression, murder trafficking of women and so on. Just because it happens doesn’t make it right.
As I said, if you want your children to inherit a homogenised, colourless, trashy world then your dream is very likely to come true! Good luck.
oh and Fuck the Olympics! ;-)
Yes this is actually where the torch relay actually began. Before this there was never a torche rely across borders or around the world. The Nazis definitely created this with the help of their Eastern European allies. I will not mention any countries at this moment in time.
to be able to say that our prime-minister,has declared that he wont go to the opening ceremony of the games!!By the way,does anybody remember 1936 when good old A.Hitler used the Games to show the world how full of pacifism and good minded people Germany was.Beside he also thought that the olympics would proof the superiority of the white race...hehe,a certain BLACK american citizen did really set him up!!!!!!Yesterday its 75 years that the nazis have taken power in Germany,11 days later the 1st concentration camp was opened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I respect your viewpoint but do not think that you understand the full spectrum of the issue. If you do think so then it is through your own perspective of how the world should be in this present time. Same perspective as the Bushies had in Iraq. Unfortunatly it does not work like this. You state the following. Unique ancient irreplaceable culture. I am not going to say you are wrong but please describe in detail what this means. It is very easy to say that any culture is unique ancient irreplaceable. But to understand this is another thing. And to understand the roots of this culture and where it actually came from and what it meant for the people living in this textbook euphoria. So please inform me of what this means.
Again, I have been asking many Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Honkies (people from hong kong, other Asians, and Expats living in Asia) and for some reason your views do not match the view on this side. I don’t think that you are not intelligent but I just don’t think you understand too much outside of your own culture or perspective. Usually when you stop reading the press reports and start actually going to the places the press reports speak of , you come up with a more personal and more objectable point of view.
What is being cynically destroyed in Tibet is a unique ancient irreplaceable culture, a way of life, belief system, art, architecture, language, way of relating to the world, We should not imagine it as a perfect society, but a unique, rich, fragile and different expression of what it is to be human.
If you feel any regret for what settlers and colonisers did to the Aztecs, Incas, Native North American, Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maoris etc then please don’t stand by and watch the same thing happen to Tibet. Surely we know better by now. Do our children really want the homogenized trashy world we are creating for them? If you want to live in a world that looks like a Midwestern strip mall or an Asian metropolis you are welcome to it. If you long for the victory of the greedy, competitive and apparently successful value system we have been created then you are welcome.
And how does the culture of these stupid Olympic games compare with that of Tibet. A noble ideal for sure, but now reduced to a nasty pissing contest between competing superpowers and selfish individuals who want to win at all costs. Fuck the Olympics I say; if they are to be sacrificed for the sake of Tibet then it’s a good deal. If the effort is futile and unsuccessful then it is still better than the mealy mouthed hand wringing that goes on about ‘trying to understand the Chinese perspective’. What is happening there is simply wrong.
By the way I like the new picture. Where is this and what is the story surrounding it?
with Hal, and am doing the same. Thanks Trifecta!!!!!!!!!!
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.
Thank you for sharing this article. The writer really understands how complex it all is. I will share it to with friends.
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
Controversial Olympic torch relay: this is a clash of civilizations
Mario Rustan, Jakarta
There is a new street sport: It's called Olympic Torch Relay. Already played in London and Paris, but ended early in San Francisco, it involves people waving Tibetan flags jostling with police covering a torch-carrying local celebrity. The demonstrators also have to exchange verbal abuses with local Chinese youth.
It seems the goal of the offense is to capture the torch, while the goal of the defense is to finish a city tour. In terms of sports, the defense wins. In terms of public relations, the offense wins. In terms of politics, it's a clash of civilizations between the West and the Chinese.
The protesters have one clear statement: We don't want China to boast of its Olympics hosting while oppressing Tibet and committing a good number of human rights violations. In London, Paris and San Francisco, the protesters are mainly Westerners; the Tibetans numbered only hundreds. The Western demonstrators are emotionally enraged not only about Tibet, but also about many other issues such as poverty, Iraq, Muslim rights, and global warming.
The Chinese camp has two different groups with similar views.
The first one is the citizens of the People's Republic of China. Whether they are office workers in Shanghai or IT students in London, they hate the protesters who support separatism in China and the Western public that can't stop being fuzzy about China.
The second group is ethnic Chinese overseas who are proud of China becoming a world focus this summer. Protests about Tibet and human rights violations in China are probably accepted by most of them, but the protesters' efforts to ruin a moment of glory for China is simply unacceptable.
This month, there are plenty of misunderstandings, wrong perceptions and mismatches between Westerners and Chinese in viewing the issue. Even Westerners who have a fair knowledge of Chinese history, and Chinese who are citizens of a Western country, still don't understand each other's stance.
The protesters for Tibet are mainly Western students and activists who strongly support the independence of Tibet. Many of them have met Tibetan exiles and heard their testimonies. They feel empathy with the destruction of Tibetan culture, first by Maoism and then by modernization. Some activists claim China is committing genocide in Tibet.
The people of the People's Republic can't comprehend this. They have been taught since childhood that Tibet is a part of the everlasting China. The people of Tibet had a savage culture, but the glorious Chinese civilization saved them. The Chinese accuse the West of trying to wrest Tibet from China to make it another American colony.
What happened in China in March were fatal mistakes made by both sides: the murders of Chinese families by frustrated Tibetans, and the torture and murders of the Tibetans by a vengeful Chinese military. While the West often forgets the death of burned and bashed Chinese civilians in Lhasa, the Chinese couldn't get the fact that the riot came out of mass rage instead of conspiracy, and that the Dalai Lama is not Osama bin Laden.
Protesters in the West stress they don't hate the Chinese; they hate its totalitarian government. This government creates a new Great Wall to block Internet access to international websites, imprisons dissents and contributes to environmental damage and exploitative industrialization.
For ethnic Chinese overseas, this government could end someday, but China is eternal. Westerners might wonder how San Franciscan Chinese could wave both American and Chinese flags. The logic is simple for those Chinese-Americans: America is my nationality, perhaps my home, but I am Chinese. The red flag is not only a communist flag, but the current flag of China. It could change like it has changed for thousands of year, but it represents the Chinese civilization.
Chinese students in London and Paris experience significant freedom out of China, yet they wave the red flag proudly because they are not mere citizens of China, but also because they are Chinese and are part of the Chinese civilization.
Western protesters might think civilian-clothed Chinese who exchanged pushes with them in London, or surrounded them in San Francisco, were Chinese agents. In reality they are fellow civilians, who -- regardless of nationality -- are enraged with the attack on their Chinese pride and can't comprehend why while the West, Japan and Korea have had their Olympics, China couldn't get one now.
Uniformity in Chinese culture, practiced thousand of years before the birth of communism, makes it incomprehensible for the Chinese that citizens, media and the state could debate, argue and still keep everything in order without resigning to chaos.
The Chinese citizens accuse Western governments of sympathizing with Tibet, as they do not stop the pro-Tibet demonstrations. A proof of this mistrust is the sending of a special unit of Chinese police to follow the rally, which Western media see as their government's complicity with the authoritarian state.
The Chinese audience also asks why international media don't focus on the joy of the relay instead of the demonstration. For the Western audience, it's unthinkable if their news networks omit the scenes of demonstrators scuffling with police and the screaming Tibetans brought down by police, to focus on the celebrity runners and the flag-waving Chinese students. It is not how free media works.
When the Chinese government and citizens speak of a "Harmonious Olympics", they mean it. They imagine an Olympics where everyone around the world is smiling and cheering, taking photographs and strolling around modern Beijing. They don't understand why people don't want that.
The writer holds a BA in Politics from La Trobe University, Australia. He wishes independence for Tibet and a successful Beijing Olympics.