Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who Are We???

“Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart" - Ghandi

I see her royal majesty is planning a special trip here to help celebrate our 400th birthday. A real nice treat to end what has been a pretty fantastic year. Originally she wasn't coming, now she is. I wonder what changed her mind? Maybe a plea from our premier? Maybe a chance to come and put her royal stamp on us, to show that she really cares. Yup, should be fun. Let's practice those bows and curtsies boys and girls... lest we forget who we truly are. Our safety and security in the hands of ye olde british empire, making sure that the bad guys of the world don't invade us for our wonderfully pink sand. It's a lingering question. Just exactly who are we? What makes us special in the world, how are we different from those who would seem most similar?

Take a minute and look around. Aside from the slew of "Bermujan Verds", what is our culture? What distinct qualities make us different? Bermuda Shorts? Codfish and potatoes? Are these things truly unique to us? We have a history developed over 400 years of good, bad and indifferent. If we compare ourselves with those countries we most closely associate with are we more American than British? If so what about those who connect with the Caribbean? Why do we connect with some places, but not all? With a heavy latin presence there, why do we seem to connect with those former British colonies, and not with the Spanish places?? We had a Spanish presence once... what happened to us?

So, after 400 years, we are still defined by a queen, a crown... and it's only taken her 40 years to come back (ok... close to 40 years). What is the problem with that? If we are one of the last remaining Overseas Territories (1 of 14), you might think we're a bit more deserving. We're special... aren't we? Now we could look at the importance of us in a bigger picture, we don't hold world war or cold war summits anymore, and in reality we're not the most popular beach in the world, and for the past 30 years we've been open to international businesses hiding their books on our lovely shores. Talk of independence has come and gone, referendums, threats of anarchy and political change has seen our evolution change quite a bit since her majesty last graced our shores.

So we struggle. I note that some are wondering whether our Premier will have the decency to hang around for her visit. I guess the bigger question is.... why should he? Has she been involved in our lives the past 40 years (ok... close to 40 years)? Has she even sent us a birthday card? If anything can be taken from this impromptu visit, it's that we should be ready to kiss the royal backside once again, because all attitudes being equal, we really do need her in our world.

Let's hope the monarchy won't be burdened as such for birthday 401. We'd hate to keep her from whatever it is she does anyway.


  1. Just a slight correction.

    The Queen was last here in 1994. That is 15 years ago, which is a lot closer to 20 years then 40 years.

  2. I stand corrected. Not that it matters.

  3. I'm kind of with Phil here. Feeling pretty 'meh' to the announced visit, and there's probably not as much interest in the Queen's visit by Bermudians as some would hope.

    That said, I was away in school in '94 and can't recall a Queen's visit before then. Que sera.

    Is Bermuda important to Britain? We know Britain has importance to us but only because we piggyback off UK and by extension EU privileges to travel and work there and it gives us some clout in dealings with the United States.