Sunday, September 04, 2005

We Belong Together

Yesterday I took a leap towards multicultural Amsterdam. It is slightly embarrassing to confess that I have lived in the core of Amsterdam's Chinatown but I've been shopping purely in the Dutch Albert Heijn supermarket. Well, yesterday a friend of mine called me and said he would be heading to the Chinese supermarket and asked whether I would like to join because it is just around the corner.

I love the shop. I came out with a gigantic bag of tea, spices, noodles, curry paste and things like that and spend only fifteen euros.

In the shop I realised that there is still a lot to do in my attitudes. I told on Friday to my Dutch friends that one of the most positive things in the Netherlands is the fact that you can be non-Caucasian and still be seen as Dutch. Definitely not the case (yet) in Finland. In the shop I noticed that I still need to broaden my mindset: I was surprised because the woman in the Chinese supermarket spoke fluent Dutch. Shame on me.

Well, the theme continued in the evening as I went to the cinema to see Lars von Trier's Manderlay. It is the second episode of his America trilogy (first one was Dogville). The film was disturbing. To put mildly.

The film deals with slavery. von Trier states that America was not ready for equality of races and the blacks were not ready for freedom. I still do not know what to think of the film. One of the leading actors, Danny Glover, told in an interview for Image that he refused to take the role after the first reading. He plays an old house slave defending slavery. The film is as anti-Bush as possible. von Trier shows how the world police ends up in paradoxical situations when pushing the people towards its ideals using the main characted Grace as a tool for carrying this message. I am not sure whether one should be impressed by von Trier's bravery or what. Glover says in the interview that Hollywood has avoided making films about slavery excluding showing the liberating end of it. After seeing the film I understand why it was difficult to find an American distributor.

p.s. I have forgotten to mention an important issue in my blog. It is for Finnish men. An open declaration stating that you will not put up with violence against women and that you recognise that it is a serious problem in our country. Many men have already signed it. You should too.


Anonymous said...

"I blog because it's Monday, and there's nothing else to do."
mars bar cheesecake recipe

Anonymous said...

Ah, your blog has been discovered by comment spma. How wonderful.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to mention that the more I think about Manderlay the more convinced I am that it has absolutely nothing to do with race and slavery. Yes, thay are a facet of the phenomenon that von Trier is addressing, but just one amongst many.


Elina said...

Does this mean you lived in kallio all these yearsand never went to one of these oriental markets there?

That aside, oriental food markets are great. It's such a thrill shopping there, makes your ordinary supermarket seem so mundane.

AnDy631 said...

Hi, I like your blog--I notice that you've blogged one of my photos, which is totally fine, but please let me know if you blog something of mine adn provide a link--I'm always interested to see where my stuff ends up!