Updated: Dec 26, 2021
In recent times when the world is finally talking about the mistreatment of the marginalised in a big level, everyone has come across these words #blacklivesmatter
I have come across a few posts that say the following..
I am a தமிழ் Thamizh and Genocide is part of my identity. This also needs to said..
I wanted to join them.
I wish this situation was not true... I wish being a Tamil from Sri Lanka did not mean this.. but it is what it is and it has shaped my life and thousands like me. Although I am well versed now in being a chameleon..like many migrants, I take on the shape and the form that is around me. But, truth is, all my life I have been forced to fit into a new place, a foreign land. Displacement and camouflage has been the norm. However, the minute my passport is opened, it is undeniable the look I get. Place of Birth -Sri Lanka, what language, Tamil.. looks up and down. What brings you here..? my response usually, to create art, or holiday. they smile.. sometimes I get taken aside for further checks.. within those moments my mind races.. I did not commit any crime.. truth is crime has been committed against me and many like me.. Fears of abandonment playing in my mind.. because that was one of my first memories.. wondering when my parents will return, or if they will.. ? just because we were born a certain race. It's not my fault... I didn't choose to be born this.. I didn't even live for more than 2 years in that country.. I disown it.. but I can not.. Sometimes, I do not even know which history to hold on to.. which identity? Im not here to harm anyone.. just to live .. Is that a crime? At the end you are left with a lingering feeling... that dull feeling.. that's become so a part of our psyche.. that you don't acknowledge it but accept it. They didn't want us to exist. They didn't want our history to exist..
They.. who are they? those who are more important..? Didn't my life and my family's lives really matter like theirs?
That's why I feel so empathetic towards the marginalised... even though I often forget I am one myself.
Many like me are constantly in search.. search for our identity and search for our roots, in search for balance. We hold on to art...to language..even the crimes committed against us... something to define ourselves. To voice our existence.
Shastram too was birthed in this environment.
Who am I? Where are my roots? Why was I taught this dance? What does it mean? What are the stories in it? Are they my stories too.. ? Can I hold on to this? Can I solidify my existence through this?
This is a truth I have had to live with.. because I am a Tamil from Sri Lanka and genocide is unfortunately.. part of my identity.