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The seas of death and hope

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 Opinion [19659002] STOCKHOLM / ROME, Feb 11 2019 (IPS) - The Mediterranean is at present the sea of ​​death. On June 20, the United Nations Day of Refugees, UNITED for Interkultural Motion, publishes a "death list" that summarizes where, when and underneath what circumstances a named individual died in consequence of "fatal practices." Europa Fortress ”. The info is collected from a communication from 550 community organizations in 48 nations and local specialists, journalists and researchers in the area of immigration. The listing revealed in 2018 was drowned by 27,000 drowning since 1993, typically a whole lot at a time, when giant ships crash. These Deaths account for 80% of all labels, 1 are in all probability hundreds of lifeless, bodies by no means found and / or ignored 

. it's good to remind them of their position as means of communication and commerce, and of the transfer of culture and innovation. For hundreds of years, individuals have used the ocean to complement themselves and their communities by interacting with different cultures.

Mediterranean Sea, Sea of ​​Hope, Hope and Doom, Venus Cradle and Sappho Tomb. Greeks, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans, Berbers, Italians, French, Norwegians, Turks, Slavs, Jews, Christians and Muslims are taking their goods, music, inventions, meals and ideas. The southern shores of Maghreb and Egypt and beyond, to the coasts of the North and the Baltic, spreading Greek philosophy, Roman regulation, Arabic science, poetry, artwork and tradition, and far more that has benefited mankind. Virtually each sea on the planet has served mankind in the same approach as a strong mixer of cultures, which exhibits that the mobility of individuals advantages us all.

A rosy image? Let us not overlook the shadows. The seas have all the time been scenes of bloody preventing, unscrupulous piracy and slavery, the last motion is undoubtedly one of the worst crimes of humanity. Between 1650 and 1900, more than 10 million enslaved Africans arrived in America, whereas many died across the Atlantic. During the same interval, 8 million East Africans have been enslaved and despatched by way of the Indian Ocean to the Middle East and Asia. It was not just the Africans who have been lifted into chains over the seas. European nations, akin to Britain, France and Spain, sent political prisoners, "vagina" and other "undesirable" colonies. Between 1788 and 1868, greater than 160,000 prisoners have been transported to Britain's crime scene in Britain. The barbaric pirates from the ports of North Africa made raids in Europe's coastal cities, primarily to enslave the Ottomans on the Ottoman slave market. It has been calculated that between 1530 and 1780 Barbary corsairs enslaved some 1 250 000 individuals

When the British empire stopped slavery in 1833, the workforce turned the most typical means of getting low cost labor to their colonies. within the service of other peoples. This meant that immigrants would work for a overseas employer, often seven years. The employer paid for the sea transport, the worker didn't obtain the salary, but he acquired meals and safety. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are introduced into the sea underneath such circumstances, primarily Asian, but in addition some Europeans.

National political events typically complain that the majority immigrants don't give any profit to the host country that the majority of them are poor and uneducated. Nevertheless, that is nothing new. American immigrants are sometimes described as entrepreneurs, supportive staff who construct a wealthy nation. When Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson traveled to California in 1879 on his strategy to California, he was astonished to note that the majority immigrants were not robust adventurous males who needed to stay and achieve America, but principally determined and tired of making an attempt to escape European persecution, poverty and unemployment

    the extra I noticed of the passengers, the much less I used to be tempted dictionary. A relatively few males have been underneath thirty; many have been married and strained families; some were not for years. Nowadays, these around me have been principally silent, organized, obedient residents, disruptive household men, aged individuals who had not invested in their lives, and people who had seen higher days.2

Despite despair and their ancestors, The descendants of descendants, criminals and desperate, poor immigrants have contributed to the creation of rich peoples and impressive cultures. Europeans who complain concerning the floods of poor, uneducated individuals from distant cultures will simply overlook that many of their very own ancestors have been in comparable poverty and despair and that folks's mobility was finally the solution for them and their youngsters.

Christopher Columbus dreamed of discovering a utopian India, however as an alternative found a "new world" that was truly very previous and identical to the Mediterranean, where he was born on the seashore, this world was dependent on another mighty, inner sea the place individuals from totally different cultures lived on the seashores - Arawaks, Tainos, Mayas, Aztecs and many others whose cultures ultimately blended with European conquerors, African slaves and European and Asian staff

. monumental struggling, wars and scourges that have advanced in numerous cultures which might be manifested by way of a variety of foods, spiritual beliefs, and particularly musical types reminiscent of the ocean. gue, calypso, cumbia, rumba, reggae, boy, salsa, gospel, jazz and blues. In trendy occasions, authors reminiscent of García Márquez, Juan Rulfo, Miguel Angel Asturias, Marie Vieux Chauvet, Alejo Carpentier, Derek Walcott, Vidhiar Naipul, Jaques Romain, Zora Neale Hurston, Aimé Césaire, William Faulkner and other nearly numerous authors, storytellers, poets and singers testify about this distinctive mix of cultures created by mexicans, colombians, hawis, garifunas, western and japanese indians, Jamaicans, pirates, slaves, maroons, guanches, turkish, andalusians, jews, gypsies, french, dutchs, voodooists, santeros, muslims and Christians. What would the world have been without this mix of cultures on the shores of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean?

The similar goes for maritime transport, culture and business exchanges along the Indian Ocean coast, from the very beginning of the world's earliest civilization in Mesopotamia, historic Egypt and Indian subcontinent. There, the traditional Romans, Arabs, Africans and individuals from Sri Lanka and India, and even the Chinese, used monsoon and equator to circulate collectively and unfold items and cultures, creating culturally combined, communicating societies alongside the coasts, such because the African Bantu Swahili culture, which unfold its influence within the hinterland.

The South China Sea tells an analogous story of human interaction in waters, and although Vietnamese masters, Chinese language, Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Dutch, Portuguese and Philippine have demanded superiority in the sea, nevertheless it has carried goods, ideas, religions and inspiration to totally different places. inhabitants who lived and still stay on their seashores.

Within the North North Sea, as soon as once more, the Vikings dominated the Vikings with superior longevity; irradiation, commerce and colonization in Ireland, Iceland, England and the northern coasts of France. In the Middle Ages and between the 15th and 15th centuries, the shores of the northern European gates, the Hansa group, grain, fish, wooden, dyes, linen, salt, metals, wine, culture and art have been moved after the previous Viking. Finnish and Slavic commerce routes around the Baltic Sea and along Russian rivers, even with one of their farthest inland seas - White Sea, which connects distant cultures of Finns, Sami, Samoyed and Russians. Different treasures that create the magnificent Karelian epic Kalevala, including Homer's Odyssey, are a tribute to the ocean.

So once we research the tragedy of the misplaced refugees and immigrants within the Mediterranean, let us not overlook that the open seas of the world have not solely used routes for determined immigrants, asylum seekers, slaves, pirates and warriors, however have additionally been the channels of civilization and friendship that provide vitality , energy and culture for their coasts. Despite their shortcomings, mobility is a component of human nature and cannot be prevented. Human interaction and communication is a blessing, and as an alternative of being immersed in their waves, allow us to permit the seas to continue to convey cultures, inspiration, and friendship to everybody.

1http: // Deaths /
The listing does not only take into consideration deaths at sea but in addition in detention blocks, asylum models and city centers
2 Robert Louis Stevenson, Traveling In Aasi In Cévennes and Novice Migrant. London: Penguin Classics 2004, p. 107.

Jan Lundius is a PhD. The Historical past of Faith at Lund University and has been a improvement supervisor, researcher and advisor at SIDA, UNESCO, FAO and different international organizations.

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