The Ainu

22-minutes program on the struggle for cultural survival by the indigenous people of Japan- the Ainu.

Have we ever questioned ‘Why’ the indigenous people of the world struggle?  Is it because they’re indigenous?  Of course not.  The problem of struggle seems to be left to the indigenous people themselves, even as they face erosion.  If we are to believe in evolution and progress, then it’s all said and done and nothing can be done.  That is precisely why I think the idea of progress and evolution are political and it is particularly colonial (the rise of science) and it got it’s power largely from Christian metaphysics to begin, then left God behind and replaced science and man with the Christian God.  But what of the other religions and spiritual practices of the indigenous?  We are largely practicing for ourselves and not those that we have stolen from.

The African saying that we are standing on the backs of others if we are succeeding, is too true.  Painfully true.  But it doesn’t have to be all pain.  The Ainu, and other indigenous people need our capacities to be allies.  What does it take to be an ally?  What does it take to begin to care to be an ally?  The indigenous people don’t need people’s ‘help.’  They need allies.  Advocates.  We all need them, and most likely have them as a matter of course in our lives.  But what of others whose lives are not propped up by our own un-thinking and already-assimilated desires and impulses that could be more readily fulfilled by our socieities while indigenous peoples ‘ values do not mesh with most of our modern concerns.  But you probably know, that more and more people in the so-called modern world, are waking up to the fact that modernity does not offer what it promises.  Happiness is always a million miles away and only momentary.

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