Lately, I've been becoming more and more of a cricket fan, after watching the movie Lagaan, and watching a few matches, and most recently the ODI World Cup Final between Sri Lanka and Australia (ai lana, sa' manggana' i Australians Siha). It can sometimes move slowly, but the joy or appreciation of someone staying at the crease for hours and hours, and racking up a century is worth the waiting and slower pace. People in the United States often treat cricket as if its an insane, lazy boring game. But after seeing several matches and learning the rules of the game, it is obvious in my opinion that cricket takes more skill and stamina than baseball.
I’m in Oklahoma City this weekend at the Indigenous Studies Conference, which is basically an informal, historical, difficult and very inspirational gathering of scholars who are doing work on indigenous peoples for indigenous peoples. The difficult part comes in because people here all see the value and the need in having an organization of this sort, but there are a number of issues that still need to be worked out as far as how inclusive the organization will be, what its focus and principles will be, how engaged with communities will it be, etc.
I’ve been incredibly surprised at how many Pacific Islanders are here, and this turnout is no doubt linked to the good work of Kehaulani Kaunui, a kanaka maoli and the only Pacific Islander on the steering or host committees. It remains to be seen however, whether or not Pacific Islanders and other indigenous peoples from around the world will have a place in this organization or if it’ll be mainly for Native Americans since they will be the main ones running and attending the conferences.
On to the reason though, why I’m changing my blog image.
During one of the presentations on the New Zealand Maori Rugby team, a presenter showed the following quote by Viv Richards, a famous former West Indies cricket player:
"In my own way, I would like to think that I carried my bat for the liberation of Africa and other oppressed people everywhere."
Olaha mohon na gaige gi halom este na sinangan i estao i taotao-hu siha. “Todu hu cho’gue, hu cho’guiguiyi i Chamorro siha, na un diha siña u mana’libre.”
In honor of this sentiment, which can easily be explained as idealistic, easily co-optable and just plain celebrity nonsense and neutralized as meaning nothing, I want to remind everyone that it nonetheless carries within it the dreams of a better world, and the hopes for decolonization, I'm changing my blog image to this: