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Space Travellin
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Lost Boys of Sudan
    #2469656 - 03/25/04 12:53 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Saw an interesting indie film today.. title of this thread is the name of it. It was a documentary about taking kids from the bush of Africa and sticking them in modern America.
Basically this tribe in Sudan, Dinka Tribe.. who'se village was raided in the late 80s.. almost all the woman were taken away, most of the older men were killed, and the young men fled and eventually found themselves in Kenya at a Refugee camp, where they have lived since. Since when they showed up, it was mostly young boys without parents, they were named the Lost Boys.

Then a bunch of the guys from the tribe are chosen to come to america for this refugee program.. they are told that they are going to get an education. It was very interesting seeing their perseptions of america.. this tribe still had VERY little technology, but you could still see the influence of western culture.. from their hand-me-down clothes to the old school irons and cookware.. but they still lived in 'mud huts' with very little technology.

Their lives at the refugee camp seemed very happy. It was a big community, they sang songs and danced together all the time, they were all very close and loved each other very much.. they had been through a lot together. They didn't have to worry about much.. they would dance, sing, eat, wash clothes, and play basketball

Anyways, the whole tribe was looking forward to their leaving to go to america. This was a huge deal.. they all had very high expectations and pre-conceived notions of what america would be like. Some said it will be like heaven on Earth, they said it would be easy to get an education and make money and send the tribe money. They figured when they got to america, they would all stick together and work together and make lots of money for their tribe to get some things. Those of the tribe that were not going had the highest expectations.. obviously these people had heard a lot about america and how great it was as if their sacks of flour with "USA" printed on the side was any clue.

So they got on the plane and headed to america. They were splitting most of them up and sending them to different states... utah..north dakota.. massachusets..texas... although this documentary was focused on the guys that went to texas..they would be given four months rent paid for and some spending money, and help finding jobs and then they would be on their own.

So when they first arrived, they were excited about everything.. this whole new culture they had heard so much about and how great it was.. this lady dropped them off at their apartment, basically showed them how the stove worked, the garbage disposal, said don't burn down the house, and left. They were taught how to use the grocery store, and they were given some furniture from the church. For the first week it seemed they were all really enjoying it, especially all the food.. they were shocked at the concept of eating all day, and still having food left over. But the giddiness soon worn off...

The first guy "peter" got a job working at a plastics factory on an assembly line. He didn't seem to understand the concept of speed, as his job at first was to place a sticker, and he would try to get it on perfect every time, while the line was moving faster then he could take his time to plop it on. He worked for a couple weeks, and then got enrolled in high school. You can imagine how that went for him.. though he did end up graduating.

I could go on for a while but I'll try to get to the point. Once the excitement wore off, these guys all got a reality smack in the face. Kenya was better.
They learned that they could not work together, in america you were alone. A lot of the observations they first began making was "everyone is so busy.. how will I make new friends", and "time is money and money is time in america.. in kenya there was no money or time.. in fact their group soon split apart, when they were first living in texas with about 5 people, one guy got a car and decided to move north and ended up in kansas. He seemed to like it there better.

America was not what they had expected at all. They were puzzled why people were scared of them when they were not mean, and why american black people would want to pick fights with them when they did not even know them. They didn't understand it at all. These people were all really loving from a loving tribe, and america desensitized them. Within a year they were all pretty much integrated into the culture.. though most of them wanted to go home.

One guy would call his sister in Kenya, and she would ask why he had not sent more money. He would say "It is hard in America, there is no time, I have school and work and homework and sleep and that is all the time I have.. I cannot send you more money because I have to pay for rent and food and it leaves me with nothing.." his sister could not possibly comprehend, she would say "why don't you ask someone to borrow the money, say "My brother, please lend me some money because my family in sudan needs it.. if you say my brother they will lend you the money" he would say.. ok I will try..

but his sister couldn't understand what he was going through. She thought he had come to this golden land where everyone was rich, and that money was easy to get in america. She was adamant that he send her money, because it was so easy. He found out the truth. In fact being 'not rich' he got the shaft several times specifically because of that reason, and quickly saw the 'negative' side of it. It's really hard to explain all the details..you'd have to see it to understand. Basically they all came to america to get an education but they were working so much and paying rent they couldnt afford to go to school and no one would accept them.. no one was helping them get into school either. Only one guy made it.. to HIGH SCHOOL.. you should see how pissed some of them were...they were soo completely frustrated at the situation.. they kept saying how everything they were told about america was lies.. and they were going to tell everyone when they got back, but they knew they wouldnt believe them.. one guy said "I soon realized that there is no heaven on earth, especially not in america" heh.

All in all, it was a great movie. Pretty much what I expected. They came to America with huge eyes, but after a few months, they were all wanting to go back home. They said, "Kenya was bad, and the war was bad, but this is worse.. I would rather be with my loved ones"

You would think that someone would rather have the modern conveniences and technology and money as opposed to a mud hut in africa? nope..
They were exposed to the dark underbelly of american culture and saw it for what it was - artificial, fake, sterile, cold, lonely. Very thought provoking movie. Really makes you think...Forces you to remember what's REALLY important in life. (hint: it's not acquiring material goods)

And for ten MILLION dollars.. the answer is -


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Re: Lost Boys of Sudan [Re: Shroomism]
    #2469703 - 03/25/04 01:09 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I have met many forgein students in my time at the University that love it hear and dread going back.

But I think they were Westernized to begin with. Good post.

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Re: Lost Boys of Sudan [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2469734 - 03/25/04 01:19 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

aye, as have I. but yeah most of them come pre-westernized. all these guys knew was english and all the stories they had heard.
This place is like the twilight zone.

But ya...this is one of those movies that makes you laugh a lot (because you are laughing at irony and you can relate to these guys), and makes you come to some startling revelations that you may have previously forgotten about.

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Re: Lost Boys of Sudan [Re: Shroomism]
    #2469742 - 03/25/04 01:23 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

What would it be like if you took an American and placed them in one of their refugee camps? Would the American come to accept the values of those people, or would they be equally if not more appalled by the culture shock? If they didn't like it there, could you conclude from that that American values are superior?


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire

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Re: Lost Boys of Sudan [Re: silversoul7]
    #2469783 - 03/25/04 01:43 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

are we talking average american, or me?

Average american would probably hate it.

I personally, would probably love it. At least after a little while. I would fiend for the internet, and chocolate, and all the things I am so used to, for a while. But then, I'm born and raised in western culture. But I love me some primitive advnetures (read: camping)

Could I conclude that american values are suprior if they didn't like it there? Hell no. Would they be appalled at the culture shock? Again.. hell no. Maybe shocked, but definitely not appalled..unless you are some kind of twisted sicko that gets appalled at love, community, and friendship. The things you hear about africa, are for the most part, true. It's hot, there are tribes, there are lions... yeah. America is like a fairytale to these people.. but then they get there and are like... so where's all the magic I heard so much about..

Watch the movie.. you'll see what I mean.

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