January 10, 2008


Posted in Uncategorized at 9:54 am by changisme

What is history to me, a person who only lives 60 to 90 years? What is history to me who’s life is not much longer than the people I can see turning around in a circle?

I love stories, so I like listening to or reading history, but I never bothered studying it. My mother says history is better than fictions because the former is real. I have to say she’s right, but I don’t really feel Sir John A. is any more real to me than John Wayne, and Xiao Feng is any less real than Zhu Yuan Zhang. Then what is the real history other then his story?

It’s thought provoking when I look at the Canadian society, because how lives are lived hinges so little on history. educators try so hard to grasp opportunities here and there to put Canadian history into their pupils minds. There are actually quite a bit that happened, but why people don’t really care? It’s not because they are not patriotic, or ignorant. It’s just that history of this country is so implicit and so hidden in our lives. Someone from Australia said that her mother was very into telling stories about their ancestry, but she always said that nobody knew what crime their forefather committed, so she always thought it must be really difficult to find out. However, when she just went to the library, all the trials were clearly documented to the words uttered by the criminals themselves. These histories are so close and yet people think them so faraway. I guess people here still are europeans…. or asians I guess.

When I read or tell Chinese history, it’s not just a story that flows through me, it’s a passage of me participating in it. It becomes less that way when I tell stories from long long ago though. I feel that my interpretations matter little, even though it may not (??). I’m always quite aware that when I tell a story, I tell them in a way I feel best. The stories are quite often shaped in a visible way even in my own eyes. It’s like how I don’t really like simply listening to music but rather sing or play it; or like I don’t really like watching sports, but like playing them. When I channel these happenings from one source to another, I become part of the world in its making. Maybe that’s what history is to me. I become less isolated and individualistic, but rather part of an orchestra.

On a different note, I was talking to a friend who was surprised me, of all people, like this collectivism. I have to say that I do, but not in a sense where I want to belong to a group where everyone thinks the same and do the same things like in my chinese school education. Actually, I felt in that system I felt more singled out, more lonely because it is less important what I did, because there are so many others who are doing the same anyway. Rather, it is the harmony and orchestra of what we do, each different but together intertwined collectivism that I love. History. Does history do that for me?


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