Shying Away From Patriotism


Shying Away From Patriotism

by Anarkalli Aakarssha

PATRIOTISM: The lions roar is silenced. The lioness begins to hunt for answers. Time is running out we must correct our mistakes.

Day by day patriotism in our country is disappearing.

Is it actually disappearing or are we voluntarily banishing it for fear of racial discrimination? A patriotic soul possesses an uncontrollable love for his/her country before anything else.

Representation is necessary, yet people think twice before defending the country. Patriotism today in Sri Lanka is being projected as a negative emotion, an emotion which should not be expressed.

Even though we Sri Lankans see patriotism in a different light other countries look upon patriotism as a necessity to protect their heritage and culture.

Most countries attract tourists by selling their heritage and culture. They project that they are genuinely patriotic.

Countries like China and India have been manufacturing for international companies and now they are proudly manufacturing their own brands and showcasing them to the world.

It is very rare for one to travel around the world and not come across a product which is made in China or India.

India and China are dominating the world rapidly. They always look out for innovative ways of promoting their country and increasing the growth of their business industries.

Even though we Sri Lankans are very talented most of us seem very comfortable in going nowhere. Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country. One of our main missions should be to nurture and build a more stable society. Then may be the hesitation of expressing patriotism will diminish.

In 2004 when I represented Sri Lanka at the Miss World pageant which was held in Sanya, China 109 countries participated.

I was the youngest contestant and we had to stay in China for one whole month. I was so unbelievably home sick I used to speak to all the contestants about Sri Lanka, show them pictures.

I even taught my room mate Miss Turkey who couldn’t speak a word of English two Singhalese songs. Her favourite was Sudu Paata Meedum Galala.

Some contestants asked me if Sri Lanka was a part of India.

Some contestants even asked me if tourists visit Sri Lanka. See how misinformed the world can be about a country! It is up to us to take a stand. A stand for change! As John F Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country”.

Yet again before we learn to appreciate the country, the country should also appreciate its citizens by giving them priority over non- Sri Lankans.

It is a depressing fact that even when one of our fellow Sri Lankans possesses all the necessary qualifications for a job a foreigner with the same qualifications is given the job, a better salary, accommodation etc.

Even in our film industry today we accommodate foreign artists without thinking about how we can support local artists to uplift our industry.

Without us knowing other countries are reaching the top by using our talent. It could be us the world is talking about ! We should promote our local brands, our local talent, our local culture and our local industries.

It is then that we can say we are truly victorious and that we are truly Sri Lankan ! Sri Lankans should be able to sit on the throne in their own kingdom.

The lack of patriotism in our country should raise concern as it affects our future generations if we do not instill in them this passion. Otherwise they will leave our Mother Lanka.

In the hands of the future generation lies the future, the future that leads to our country’s destiny.

Persevere through discrimination. Persevere through life. Be a Survivor. Persevere through the storm and be proud that you were born a true Sri Lankan. This is your Motherland. Help steer your land forward.