There seems to be a lot of discussion in the Sri Lankan blogosphere about our identity. We all identify ourselves with at least one particular group of people. For me, being human is my first identity and I can feel for many people who have common human problems because I face similar problems. Then, I am a MAN and that’s a crucial part of my identity. I can list my identity in terms of the place I was born in, my skin colour, continent, faith, political view and literally hundreds of other things.
I think it was Sangakara who started this identity discussion. Then guys like Indi began blogging about it and I think it’s pretty cool to have a common Sri Lankan identity. RD wrote something on groundviews about it, and I honestly haven’t had the time to read all of it or any other blogs RD mentioned, for now. But one thing, (I think) RD mentioned was (something like) as to why we can’t have a South Asian identity or a Asian identity or even a common human identity? It’s a good point and I’m fully up for building a common human identity. Building up on a common human identity is super cool for me.
But, the issue is that we have to eat an elephant one bit at a time (Note: This is a metaphor). We have to climb one step at a time to reach the apex. The idea of a common human identity would be overwhelming for many Sri Lankans. For some, it might sound too vague. So the Sri Lankan identity is indeed the best place to start.
When all Sri Lankans start feeling proud for being Sri Lankan, we would have blurred the ethnic and religious divide. Then we or most likely the next generation can work towards a common South Asian identity and we can gradually build up towards a common human identity. But for now, we should start at a level that is relevant to us. I think, we need to make (the Sri Lankan) Nationality important and make ethnicity, religion & caste insignificant.