We can’t change the colour of our skin

A high up trend these days is almost everyone among us has some plans to fly abroad, and leave this country for good. Be it students or young professionals, for some reason we all have this thing as a firm career objective in our future plans. We strive so much after it that most of us would do anything to go abroad.

The blame is not entirely up to us, we are encouraged to do so by every one - our families, friends, employers and society. Although, we have been free from the colonial rule since last 62 years but the mindsets of our people haven’t changed. Anything that has some western label is a cut above for our people. A degree pursued from abroad is worth many years local experience in the eyes of our employers. Nobody bothers to see if anything is actually gained by the individual through this degree or it’s just a label. The clichéd perception is that anything pursued from abroad is the best possible standard without any mistake.

Studying is just one thing, people who had been abroad don’t only get good jobs here but they are also supposed to get good spouses from here. Credit goes to the colonial psyche of our people. Everybody wants to go abroad. Going abroad seems like going to some fairyland. Often people forget to even scrutinise the prospective spouse for other basic things, a label of being abroad is more than enough. We willingly follow long lines and pooling of money from all the relatives just to get a student visa, which is easiest to get. Once we get it, we salute the embassies for making us stand in the line and then gladly fly out of this country. Later on, who asks if we are working full time on a student visa? Going abroad is such an attraction that we can even run the risk of going contrary to another country’s rules.

I admit, we do not have their so called standard of living but is that all one needs. What about our adoring families who are always there with us through thick and thin? Does a lonely life without any true relations worth leaving them? A lot of people who live in Pakistan in big houses willingly go abroad and live there in a room actually smaller than their store rooms. We would hate our own people - the way they live, the way they speak, they way they behave, all their ways. But we would absolutely love anything from white skin just because it is from them. We don’t mind even if the foreigners look down upon us, calling names at us as we turn our backs. In any case, beggars or slaves don’t get to choose.

When will we come out of this colonial enslavement and learn to realise our own strengths. Who is stopping us from pursuing a good degree, acquiring knowledge and work experiences there, but having a mind set of enslavement and a hatred for our own people will get us no where. We cannot change the colour of our skin, so it’s better to change the way we think. A country has a greater share in our identity, and we need to learn to accept our strengths and weaknesses, instead of denying both of them and finding a way to escape. We are too busy looking in the beautiful flowers in the other’s garden that we forget to tender the buds of our own garden. We don’t realise that another’s garden can’t be even to ours, because our garden is ours after all!

1128 hours
10 September 2009
Bushra Naz
Published in The Daily Mail on 11 September 2009

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