This is a guest post submitted by Zoya Ibrahim. All views expressed in this article are of the contributor.
Came to your land and mine,
Men who looked great and divine.
Offered you cups of wine,
Took you away from the Holy Sign.
Gave you values and ideas new,
And thus, your mind started to brew
A passion for them, and in your heart grew
Ways to part from your own kin.
In case you didn’t already understand, this piece of writing depicts the colonization of Pakistan and India by the
pirates British. Our people fought bravely and threw them out of our land – but let’s take a moment to think. Have they really left our minds?
What’s mind colonization?
Instead of giving you some thick, gurgled Wikipedia words so that you’d choke on your own sentences (or Wikipedia’s, rather), let me provide a simple definition: Mind colonization is when you believe that a race, preferably the one who has colonized you in past or currently is a supreme power, holds superiority above your own; your ideas and thoughts and traditions and culture is inferior to their ideas and thoughts and traditions and culture.
Is My Mind Colonized?
Before you go all haughty on me, let me assure you that as a Pakistani or an Indian, there is an 89% chance that your mind is colonized, too.
And how are you to know, if that’s the case?
Well, that’s why I’m here today!
Signs Your Mind Is Colonized/Westernized
Below are nine of the most common symptoms of westernization of the mind. If most are applicable to you – well, you need a solution. We might even provide it by the end of this article.
Sign No. 1: You tend to believe that your perfect English can impress people
Don’t lie to yourself – how many times have you heightened your ‘H’s and removed your ‘R’s to get the “perfect” accent to impress that one teacher, or while arguing with that one student?
Perhaps you haven’t done that. Perhaps, you were the one against whom the war of accent was unleashed. And you felt miserably horrible.
Well, it’s the same thing.
Sign No. 2: Westernizing your name
“My name is Noor ul Ain, but please just call me Aina, which just coincidentally rhymes with Anna.”
“Bro, I’m Romeo.”
“Nice to meet you, Romeo! My name is Roman.”
But it isn’t, and you know it.
Sign No. 3: Never read an Urdu/Hindi novel because duh, who reads them?
You’re an avid reader, and…
The Hunger Games? Check.
Pir e Kamil? Excuse me? One thing I never get is why Pakistani books are so obsessed with Islam! Gosh!
Well, miss, that might have something to do with the fact that you’re living in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Yeah…
Sign No. 4: You drink ‘Turmeric milk with almonds’ instead of ‘haldi wala doodh’
Or perhaps ‘Spaghetti Bolognese’ instead of ‘qeeme wali macaroni’? Tsk tsk.
Sign No. 5: You write in Roman Urdu instead of Urdu script
Now protesters might say, “It’s just because we’re used to the Eng…” And halt right there. For they know what they’re saying.
Urdu is hard for you, because you gave English more attention since childhood. All your school subjects were in English. You were encouraged to talk in English.
Heck, Urdu is a sign of members who belong to the lowest class!
Sign No. 5: You don’t do Nahi anil Munkar or Amr bil Ma’aroof because, of course! You don’t judge
There’s a fine line between poking into others’ business or judging them and doing Nahi anil Munkar – but somehow, along the way, that line got blurred to you. You can’t stop someone from doing wrong because obviously you see it their way. You completely understand why Israel might want to take the land and lives of hundreds of little Palestinian kids.
Oh, and there’s another possibility: You just don’t care.
Same thing, mate.
Sign No. 6: You made a fake account under an English name at least once in your lifetime
Suddenly, you’re not Aisha Saleem anymore – you’re Emily White, and you’ve been living in America since decades. Duh.
Sign No. 7: Your tattoo-style ‘mehendi’ says it all
You know, it’s okay to try something new once in a while.
But it’s not to feel obliged to just follow Western trends blindly with whatever you can get your hands on.
Get what I mean?
Sign No. 8: For you, modernization = westernization.
You might be one of those who say, “Astaghfirullah, she wears such modern clothes.” And by modern you mean Western.
Sign No. 9: Oh My Gawd?
You fell down, or broke your crown, or spilled a cup of chai and frowned. “Oh my God!” You said, instead of ‘ya Allah’ or ‘haye Allah’ or ‘haye ammi!’ or the like.
BECAUSE. It’s too embarrassing for you.
Okay, I’m semi-westernized. Now what?
Well, at least you know the truth.
We’re currently working and experimenting on ways to decolonize one’s mind, so expect a helpful article on that soon enough. Add a reminder to check the site often for updates.
Done. Anything else?
Well, yes. The author of this article is also an aspiring sociologist who’s currently doing a preliminary study on whether it is social media that increases mind westernization, and if it is, how.
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments section below.