Understanding Identity and Socio-Culture Milieu in Sri Lankan Refugee Camp: A Study of Anuk Arudpragasam’s The Story of a Brief Marriage
“But woe to him who is alone when he falls for he has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10. Human beings- man defined as the animal rationale, distinct us from other animal species in nothing but the additional attribute to reason. But the modern science proves that “men share all other properties with some species of animal kingdom-expect that the additional gift of ‘reason’, which makes man a more dangerous beast.”(On Violence, 62). But from the moment, humans began living together in communities, some of their members were forcibly expelled from those first towns and villages on ethnic, religious or other grounds. The practice of helping such people absconding became one of the earliest hallmarks of civilization. The world is beating a path to those refugee camps ever since. And in the twentieth century to systematize with these situations the international community took fundamental stride to codify the assistance. Since the Second World War each year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are forced to move to uncertain places from their safe havens. The United Nations High Commission for Refugee defines them as “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee from his or her country because of persecution, war or violence.” According to Hannah Arendt, an American-German philosopher, in her seminal essay “We Refugee” published in 1943 defines a refuge as a person driven to seek refugee because of some act committed or some political opinion held. But she also adds these people who had to seek refugee neither committed any acts nor most of them even dreamt of having any political opinion. We are all brought up in the conviction that life is the highest good and death the greatest trepidation but if we take a close look within the refugee camps, the lives hailing there, we come to know that they have lost the horror for death. Instead of fighting or thinking about how to fight back they have got used to wishing death to friends or relatives and if somebody dies, they cheerfully image all the trouble they have been saved from. As per the report of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2019, 70.8 million of people are displaced in our world fleeing war, persecution and conflict, at the end of 2018 2.3 million more were forcibly displaced. This is the highest number UN refugee agency has seen in its 70-year existence. Then there are the Internally Displaced People, who have left their homes but remain inside the country borders which numbers 41.9 million. Then there are children every second refugee is a child. These are not just number but souls in flight.
Arudpragasam, Anuk. A Story of a Brief Marriage. Flatiron Books, 2016.
Peter Gatrell, ‘Refugeesâ€”what’s wrong with history?’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 30, no. 2, 2017, 170â€“89 (178).
“What is a Refugee? Definition and Meaning | USA for UNHCR” (2018). Unrefugees.org. Retrieved 30 August 2019, from https://www.unrefugees.org/refugee-facts/what-is-a-refugee/
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