Very interesting. I’m glad to know there are people in this universe who 
realise the true meaning of the word “freedom”, which for most of us is a myth.

Bernice Pereira

Sent from my iPhone

> On 13-Jun-2018, at 11:15 PM, Joao Barros-Pereira 
> <> wrote:
> Frankly, nationalistic attitudes put me to sleep. Maybe, the reason is
> because I have never grown up. That's the way I see it. Maybe, there
> is another explanation. The reader can decide for himself.
> As a child who didn't spend too much time in Goa since I was educated
> in a boarding school in Bangalore (real name at the time), it made me
> an observer of the influences of not only Portuguese culture on Goans
> in Goa but also British culture on Indians who lived in boarding
> schools in Bangalore, as well as day students who lived with their
> parents unlike us boarders.
> What excited me was the great diversity of the various groups . This
> colorful quilt made my life an enjoyable experience; in fact, it was
> more enjoyable watching this magic show than focusing on my studies.
> Maybe, the only negative aspect was that it made specialization in one
> particular area of intellectual enquiry next to impossible. I got into
> the habit of looking straight ahead, sideways to the left, sideways to
> the right, and believe it or not, backwards too. I began to feel yours
> truly was the only one in the school with eyes in the back of his
> head. And, I became an outsider in the school, and for life; someone
> who can relate to one and all as a human being but has no group
> identity. In short, I remained a human being and started to feel I
> belong to the world.
> One day I refused to go to mass. Until then, I had gone to church
> every day and even served mass, learning the prayers in Latin which
> was the custom at the time. I was around twelve when I handed in my
> papers. I refused to go because it became obvious to me it was a
> brainwashing exercise, and I wanted to experience life - what was true
> - to discover for myself and not be told what to think or what not to
> think or what to believe or not to believe! Not doubt, as expected, it
> caused a big commotion. I was told by a senior priest to go to another
> school if I was not willing to go to mass in the school chapel. I
> couldn't understand the logic as non-Catholics didn't attend mass
> either. I looked the priest in the eye and told him I would go to the
> newspapers and inform them how my legal rights were taken away. That
> was the last I heard from him.
> The soft shells of my school mates were slowly hardening, almost in
> front of my eyes. They started to take on identities which to me
> seemed rigid and accidental; Hindus became more Hindu, Christians more
> Christian, and Muslims more Muslim. These were the three communities
> with whom I interacted with at school daily. Meanwhile, here was I
> (and still am) with no particular place I can call home other than the
> world. Did something go wrong?
> I became aware early in my life of how all religions were conditioning
> students in various ways using the carrot-and-stick as a way to
> strengthen group identity. Looking back, psychologically not belonging
> to a group was not an easy way to grow up, and reach maturity. Like a
> baby, I often had to fall before I could finally walk and, own my
> soul. Later on - as a father and husband - I have always given my wife
> and two children freedom to choose for themselves their path in life.
> The reward has been this: all three are my best friends today. Other
> people may have a different view or philosophy from mine; for me, this
> path has worked wonderfully.
> I think of the world as one big supermarket where we can take our pick
> from a variety of religions, ways of thinking, languages, food,
> culture, and countries. Just as in a supermarket, the sections do not
> confine us but allow us to move freely from one place to another and
> make our choices.
> No one section (or country!) can provide us with the best of
> everything. We are free to shop around and enrich our lives with the
> best of everything, from anywhere and everywhere. Even something as
> basic as food offers so much of a choice, and we are free to choose
> what we like, and in our view, is the best for each one of us. And,
> the same with culture, religion, and you name it! They all enrich us.
> And, we are free to choose from anywhere.
> Today mass communication is global and multinational companies are
> everywhere, in dozens of countries. We are living in an
> inter-dependent global village. While it has been said often enough
> how nationalism is the last resort of scoundrels, it is no longer true
> in the twenty-first century. Nationalism, in our age, is for idiots
> only! I am a human being first, second, and last.
> I'm not afraid to take the best from any section in a supermarket or
> country or tradition. It is a basic human right and choice. Is it bad?

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