Sunday, October 7, 2012

Egoic Clinging in the Sahel


Shocking?  Well for the black Africans of Mauritania, these are mild.  These Africans known as the Haratin, have Sub-Saharan African origins, yet there culture and language are derived from Arab-Berber culture due to centuries of enslavement even today after slavery has been outlawed as government officials turn a blind eye.

The fact is that the Haratins of Mauritania not only have lost a chunk of their population to slavery, but for freed slaves, the suffering goes on.  The Haratins cannot find good education or employment; they are harassed by police and marginalized by governments.  Their women and children are disproportionally affected by slavery.  Even though Mauritania has made some strides towards the twenty first century and ethnic national unity the fact remains that tribalism runs deep in the elite of Mauritania, who are ethnically Arab or Berber.

Buddhism teaches that we should not cling to identities we have.  Self is merely an illusion.  We are much more than our ethnic background or cultural identity.  To accept the true nature of who we are is to see beyond our ethnic background or cultural identity and do the same with others.

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