Monday, August 4, 2008

WYD and the Colonial hang-over



One of the beautiful parts of World Youth Day final Mass was the gospel procession by the Pacific Islanders. I was there, right beside. It was really beautiful, touching (watch it here) . But,... that's a BIG BUT!

The end of the gospel precession really tasted bitter.. The symbolism! The Pacific Islanders 'entrust the Gospel' to a European convoy (at least all looked like Europeans). Then they takes it to the alter, as the Islanders passively look at it! Black and White!

Just reminded everybody of the new Cadbury ad on the TV. The Pacific Islanders wage war over coffee and the Emperor wins, only to see that European colonials came to take the throne.

Dont think that I am too critical. But there are things to be fixed up. In God, there's no race. When we do a liturgy for WYD, which is supposed to celebrate the universality of Church, these things should get right. The powerful symbolism could have all changed, if we had, at least a black or brown person among the convoy who received Gospel from the Pacific Islanders.

Tail piece: During the Saturday vigil, one of the Indian young pilgrims told me. "Look father they pray in almost every language on earth. But why not in any of Indian languages?". He was right. The representation of Indian subcontinental languages were almost nil, except for one of the prayers of the faithful during the final Mass in SriLankan Sinhalees.

I want to answer RIGHT to my fellow young pilgrims from Asia next time. After all Jesus was an Asian and Asia is the cradle of Christianity!