My Musing Space: August 2006

My Musing Space

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lessons of the Tsunami

I just watched the documentary about the 2004 tsunami in South East Asia. It was shown by the CBC as part of their Passionate Eye series. The film used a lot of original amateur footages as well as inerviews conducted half a year after the event. I don't have to tell you that it was at the same time scary, fascinating, heart wrenching, and touching. It also had a section where they asked some survivors about their thoughts on why did the calamity happen and why did they survive.

There was a young orphaned boy, the only surviving member of a family of ten, who felt that he was spared by the gods to be able to transmit their traditions to the next generation and teach them how to be more prepared.

On an island inhabited by relatively primitive indigenous people no-one perished. The reason: they hang onto their mythology and legends, which warn them that Earth and Sea are in constant competition. When they fight and the "bad spirits" shake the Earth, people must immediately seek higher ground to get out of they way of a possible battle.

Then there was a Catholic priest who used the tragedy as a message to the people that they were hit by God's wrath because of their sins and the way to protect themselves from future calamities is by becoming more devout.