Superficial nationalists are the losers when they trample on ...

WEIGHT OF QUESTIONS

Superficial nationalists are the losers when they trample on SA’s deep roots

The deep appreciation of heritage, history, and especially of structures, traditions and histories across central Asia makes me wonder how or when we South Africans will uncover, preserve and protect, with great effort and purpose, our deep history before the arrival of Europeans, writes ISMAIL LAGARDIEN.

AS I start making my way home from east and south-east Asia, I carry the weight of questions, ideas, historical references and markers of identity, senses of belonging and unbelonging, displacement, exile, heritage, and the pride of peoples from the Korean Peninsula southward, across Taiwan, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and to Pamana, the southernmost island of the Indonesian archipelago. And I find that my main interests – long-term global political, historical and social shifts –  have been significantly strengthened and enhanced over the last seven months.

It is, nonetheless, the place, the people, the communities, the history and memories, embodied they are in the built environment and the transitions – over time – from one “civilisation” to the next.

At the forefont of my mind is the realisation, as I prepare to make my way home, I remember that apart from the remotest villages in the deepest Bornean jungle, or the most isolated inhabited islands in this archipelago of about 18,000, there has always been a steady and reliable stream of electricity. None the less, and with some exasperation, I am heading home to Africa’s Most Advanced Political Economy™...

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