Wednesday, October 6, 2010

to be an Inuk in a modern world

I don't believe there is such thing as modern. tomorrow this life that i had lived will be outdated and gone, only relived through memories. and my memories are completely biased towards myself, favouring my experience over other people.

the past that i reminiscence about so often is a favour that my mind is playing on my sense of time. This sense of ownership of one person's past is just an imaginary possession that i can get angry about, gain happiness from or get utterly confused about. The reason, why i think it is, is because we are so attached to our memories that they will make us re-think about our present and future, even though they are a construct of our imaginations.

I am pretty sure i am not making sense at all here. that is the thing about being an Inuk in the modern world. It is hard to make sense of what is and what was and what will be. We have been bombarded with all sort of information - from schools, from our parents and from society. The information is contradictory too, and as if knowledge is competing with other forms of knowledge. Who do i trust when it comes to believing what is true - the western knowledge or my ancestors knowledge?

If you are an Inuk, this would seem simple. you'd choose the ancestors belief! But for me, all i have are stories, nothing to experience my ancestors beliefs, unless i get it through bits and pieces that have been passed on to me, such as knowing very little about hunting, i try to me nice most times and respect for other living things is paramount. That is all i have that is tangible about my past. most of what i know about the past is gained through schools and western teaching curriculum - such as the history of Inuit - which i learned from white teachers from Ottawa, written by white people from Ottawa, examined and categorized as something important for Inuit to know.

So, i think i am safe to say that i am just a person who happens to live in the north, who happens to have Inuit ancestors, who inadvertently believes he has history that is tangible when all along, his world is categorized and inventoried. might as well put a bar code tattooed on my arm.

and don't you get tired of hearing throat singing sometimes?

Oh how tough it is to be so modern!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cool post! Thanks for that.

I thought you might like this: http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/sherman-alexie/on-the-amtrak-from-boston-to-new-york-city/

That last line just nails it for me.

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