POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 480 WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 480 WITH NOTES

MULTICULTURALISM

(多元文化主義)

past social fault line

斷往社层线

immerse in ethnic and race

沉在民族、種族中

imbibe, germinate

吸取並發芽

seeds of harmony

和谐的种子

wide plural diversities

廣泛多樣多元化

weave or flare fabric

编织或爆织

groups within, without

內外的组合

seek self-justice in conflict

衝突中尋自公義

in wide diverse norms

广泛多规范

take off coloured robe

脱下彩色衣

diversified melting pot

多元化的大熔炉

tabooed salad bowl

禁忌混合菜

tongue and taste differ

舌和味各異

cultivate to enriched culture

培养丰富的文化

flair for fusion food

风格融合食

innovate new needs

創造新需求

tribal drums out of tempo

部落鼓节不合奏

invite disorder

邀请障混乱

Note:

Multicultural and multiracial problems have their origin not only along geographical and historical “fault lines”, but are deliberately perpetuated by colonial and imperial powers in military and political history. Even in US, they ignore the rights of Red Indians and Mexicans; Australian and Malaysian ignore the rights of their own aborigines, yet these countries blame others for human rights violations. Recently, two nuclear powers fought over Kashmir, over land and religious issues. The street violence in Hong Kong are instigated by US, British, Taiwan and local ambitious politicians and businesses (with mindless students) who wish to cede the region away from China. The problems are so deep rooted with wide ramification that they are no longer easy to handle, except through honest negotiation. Religion, economics, politics of survival and supremacy are also intertwined with the emotion. A lot of good will is required to imbibe and germinate the seeds of harmony in multicultural societies. The plural diversities are acknowledged and compromises are needed for orderly society. Responsibility and freedom must go hand in hand for an acceptable and practical formula; and the sacred “cow” must not be touched or violated, unless national unity stated otherwise. We either weave the social web together in harmony or we flare and tear it with no gain to all. In democratic and free US, Trump has torn the fabric of American flag, and the other presidents and their respective regimes, have also scorched other flags and lands. In Malaysia, the dominant political party has no confidence and ability to govern, and pursues policies contrary to national interest.  It has petty short term interest, like the proverbial frog in well with limited horizon. Had Dr. M be more open hearted and just look south (without venturing far to Japan), we may learn some lessons from the small city state. The policy makers are mostly liberal academics of CMIO (Chinese, Malay, Indians and others) categories. We may laugh at it, the hyphenated sub divisions. However, no one in Singapore dare to challenge the understanding without good reasons. Good governance does not imply perfect utopia, unless one likes to sweat over small stuff. If China could learn and benefit from a small state, why does our nation fuss over petty issues, like water, sand and a small football field.

In a multicultural and multiracial society, we must take off our coloured religious robes to speak for all. I miss the melting pot culture of the 50’s, even the salad bowls are full of controversies, for purity of hands and mind are hard to define or refine, even among the purists. Fermented vinegar and tapioca are not sensitive for people without food allergies. Yet we must admit that our tongue and taste do differ, even across time and place for the same changing souls. We could enrich each other’s culture with fusion food, dance and music, beyond the tribal beat and tables. The most important reminder is not to create havoc and disorder. We have to walk out of the wood to find new needs and innovation.  As a poet narrator, I could do best in my imaginary poetry world, and is offered to all free. The dying genre requires resuscitation from comments for improvement.

The pictures and cartoons are all copied and pasted from the web.

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