Who am I? Where am I?

From the very childhood onwards, I knew I am a Maldivian. I knew I believe in Islam. I knew my country is a very beautiful place. And I knew my nation was so peaceful that some says it is heaven on earth. In short, I knew who I am.

We had a long tradition of peace and harmony. Friendship, share and care, hospitality were assets of this nation, for which our forefathers. Islam was the pillar that we said could never be moved as long as we were named Maldivians.

Today, things have changed, with development, globalization, education, and the ever changing world, we have changed. Our country is developing. New buildings, better projects, higher education and so on. Industries are flourishing, democracy is settling itself, economic changes are taking place. The thinking, believes and the ways of life have changed than ever before.

With the good news, also came the bad side. As we imported almost everything, we failed to make sure that we import only the good things. The result is proving to be disastrous.

We brought a new governing system; democracy, in this we made it very blunt that we accept nothing other than the best option available.

We brought international syllabus and education; that too, we decided to bring the best.

We brought every fashion that was there out on market; once again the best fashion we did go for.

That sounds good, yet not so good. We did bring things that we should have never brought.

We can use a machine made in Japan, or China, yet that is no excuse for us to change our life in their way. However that was what we did. Today, as we bring tourists from around the world, to show us our beaches, traditions and culture, I wonder what we now have got to show to them. In their countries they do see drug edicts, they do see rape cases, murders etc... Guess all that is left is the white beaches. Surely not the peace and harmony, surely not the hospitality and respect to each other and not the Maldivian way of life too.

We have very successfully built a Male' Hulhumale', and other steps in development. Unfortunately we have very successfully forgotten to build a generation that could take up the challenges and move ahead with the nation in this competitive world.

The children today have no idea, who they are. If not to all, surely to most this is the grave reality. They hesitate to respect anyone. They feel ashamed to obey any rules. They feel so weird to be asked to live up to the values and norms of this society. Indeed they don't understand the norms and values of society nor do they know its importance. The results we saw on our roads and jails. The worsts are yet to come. The new generation of parents seems to be very keen to make sure their kids speak English from day one, leaving the last hope in risk.

If things goes as it is, tomorrow the people of this society will not be sure who they are and where they are from. Maybe time has come for us to take up the word "nationhood" a bit more seriously.