Let’s not forget our own heritage, friends.
In a recent visit to Balochistan, the Brazilian Ambassador, Claudio Raja Gabaglia visited Balochistan and talked about Brazil’s commitment to improving trade ties with the region.
The Ambassador also spoke with members of the Chamber of Commerce in Quetta in regards to a number of products including Pakistan handicrafts, carpets, fresh dry fruit and sports materials to name a few.
Chamber of Commerce member, Akhtar Khan Kakar shared a few choice words on Education during one such meeting that a lot of people found funny only because of the way he spoke
Kakar spoke in English to the Ambassador, stating that the education in Balochistan had flaws and requested the Ambassador for scholarships for Balochi children to study in Brazil. The Ambassador, open to the idea, stated that the students would have to learn some Portuguese in order to study in his country otherwise the students would be more than welcome.
The video of the interaction between the two figures has been making its way through social media lately, however, for unfortunate reasons.
Pakistanis have been mocking the ‘broken English’ Kakar used while speaking with the Brazilian Ambassador.
And disgustingly, making fun of him for it.
Kakar’s younger brother, Rafiullah Kakar, who is an Oxford-educated Public Policy & Development Professional shared his thoughts about people’s comments on his elder brother’s language skills
Rafiullah said that he had been tagged in this video of him and the Brazilian ambassador and used the space to talk about his sibling.
“People have tagged me in this video.
The man speaking hilarious English in this video is my eldest brother. He is sharing his thoughts on the state of education in Balochistan and is requesting the Ambassador of Brazil to provide scholarships for the students of Balochistan. I see people are expressing mixed reaction to his English speaking skills. I understand why some of you may be concerned about our “image” in front of the Ambassador but here is how I see it.
Let me first provide some background. My brother is the eldest of 13 siblings. He is a secondary school drop-out. He has worked very hard over the years and has managed to establish successful business. He is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce Quetta. He is always upset over how some members of the Chamber put forward assistance requests of individual and selfish nature when a foreign dignitary visits them. He belives[sic] that businessmen should highlight the collective problems faced in industry, trade and education.
Now, coming to those who are upset over his English speaking skills. First, my brother is not a government official. He is a common man and is meeting the Ambassador in his capacity as a native of Balochistan. Even if he was elected representative, we shouldn’t judge him by his ability to speak English. This is a colonial mindset and we need to get rid of it.
My brother is my hero and I am very very proud of him. Despite being a school drop-out himself, he has left no stone unturned to ensure that his younger siblings and kids get quality education. He has spent all his earnings on education. In a family where nobody had ever gone to college, there is now one Rhodes scholar, one Fulbright alumnus currently reading for LLB in one of the top Universities of UK, one GCU alumnus and another one studying at PU. All younger girls are going to school. All this is due to one man: my elder brother.
He has not only done a lot for his extended family but also for the community. He has encouraged, persuaded and even pressurised[sic] all his peers to send their kids and daughters to school. Many of his peers have followed his track. He has sponsored the education of many poor kids in our relatives. He single-handedly helped establish a girls primary school in our village and then went through all the hassle of governmental processes to upgrade it to a Middle school. When the school was upgraded, teachers were not available. My brother has been personally convincing teachers to come there and has met District Education Officer several times to ask him to suspend absent teachers. He has met literally every single Education Secretary over the past two years to ensure that the problem of teachers get addressed. There is so much more I can write about him but this should suffice.
He is my hero and I am very proud of him. And I love his English 🙂 ”
And best of all, Rafiullah stated that he loved his elder brother’s English.
Celebrating someone’s misspoken words in humor are one thing but actually mocking someone just for the tone and their language skills is the exact colonial mindset that we need to fight against
How is it that we can so easily ridicule someone who is standing up for our country, trying to do the best they can for our people and celebrate people and politicians who have shown their true corrupt colors for everyone to see? Kakar was doing his very best to speak in English and more than that, doing his best to gain opportunities for children of his region.
We love to remember the fact that we freed ourselves from the ‘shackles of colonialism,’ yet we try every single day to mimic their likes, dislikes and to this day, their language.
Just take the Brazilian Ambassador, for example, this man offered scholarships to kids in Balochistan on the condition that they should learn Portuguese. He is giving so much importance to his native language yet many of us don’t even know the numbers 1-100, in our own language.
It wasn’t even the fact that Kakar’s English wasn’t as good as his own Mother Tongue. He was able to convey his message in a sophisticated, thoughtful and heart-warming manner in a foreign language. Instead of celebrating this effort and being proud of his efforts, they were put down by the people he was doing his best for. English isn’t even his own language so why on earth would we expect him to have such strong skills in speaking it?
Before we are so happy and open to making fun of the people who work endlessly for the progress of this country, we need to turn the concern to ourselves, the people who seem to be standing in the way of such efforts with our ability to take a thoughtful interaction and turn it into something as shallow as making fun of someone’s ability to speak a foreign language.
What do you think of the situation? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover photo source: Quetta News Via Facebook