How to explain the impacts of colonialism to descendants of colonisers.

It is no great secret that I have left my home in South Africa to embark on a new journey in Dublin to obtain my Masters in Law (Insha Allah). I had mentally prepared myself for a great lack of diversity, far from the oceans of my rainbow nation but I did not prepare myself for the level of ignorance amongst young Europeans.

Trinity prides itself on having a large international student population, more so in terms of postgrads (much like myself) but I found myself in a sea of Germans, various other Europeans, and few Americans, Irish, Chinese, Indian, and outliers (SA and Australia).

We live in a world obsessed with identity and coming from home, I am of course very acutely aware of my race and religion, with Apartheid being well Apartheid, how could I not be. The struggle for me lies in the ability to articulate the facets of my identity – MUSLIM INDIAN SOUTH AFRICAN (no I am not Pakistani or Indian and nor have I ever been to India) and yes all roads eventually lead to colonialism.

The good old days - meme

Yes, I can speak Afrikaans after it was shoved down my throat for 12 years, but I choose not to. No, I cannot speak my mother tongue and am therefore a Native English Speaker. This all seems so trivial to me, as I would never have to repeatedly explain myself back home, there I was normal and here I am an anomaly and one with a vast array of political opinions that I will very speedily express.

Colonialism here is a sensitive topic (understandably) but because it has fundamentally shaped the course of my life and that of my ancestors, I am very open in my discussions on the subject. Thankfully (or rather not) the Irish are very acutely aware of the impacts of colonialism having had a history with it of their own (solidarity when Lizzie kicked the bucket was rather fun), but the rest of the people I have encountered seem to be rather ignorant or afraid to discuss it.

it’s time for African colonization - meme

The greatest reason I have thus far identified as the cause of this is the fact that they are never taught about the atrocities their ancestors committed when trying to take a bite out of Africa and somehow focus only shifts to the two world wars and nothing more. Not to discredit the importance of the impacts that the wars did definitely have on Europe and shaped the current EU we have now, but none of the current progress would have been possible without the resources plundered (human and otherwise). They are silent on the genocide in Congo and Namibia, Rwanda, but happily discuss how pleased they are to see the UK failing in a Post- Brexit world (granted the UK was quite the pioneer of colonialism, and that I will give them)

Memebase - history memes - All Your Memes In Our Base - Funny Memes -  Cheezburger

I am not sure if the Americans are any better or worse, considering themselves as a former colony of the UK, they choose to ignore the atrocities committed in respect of Native Americans. On one occasion I did rather meanly decide to ask an American student to guess where I was from purely based on my accent and in an effort to not offend me, ended up guessing that I was from Nepal of all places.

More Queen Elizabeth memes : r/memes

As much as I am enjoying this experience and basking in the ancient castles and gothic architecture, this also serves as a complete learning curve when it comes to global perspectives. Perhaps, I will simply say I am South African and leave the history lesson behind in the future, it would be a lot less exhausting.

In a nutshell : r/HistoryMemes

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