Expo 2020 Dubai should bring lasting changes to lift the ‘Spirit of the World’ to a whole new level, celebrate the beauty of diversity, and bring us together to achieve a balance between humanity and the elements writes Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, an Inuit – Kalaallit shaman from the ‘Top of the World’, Greenland.
My name is Angaangaq, and it means ‘The man who looks like his uncle’. Yes, I look like my father’s older brother, whose name is Qujagi, which means ‘The beloved one’. He was named after his uncle Angaangaq, who was named after his uncle Qujagi, who was named after his uncle Angaangaq. As you can see, our family goes back a long way — we have lived in the same village for longer than 5,000 years. Precisely how old we are as a family, we don’t know.
I am from the ‘Top of the World’, a country called Greenland, the largest island on Earth. Greenland is the only country where people live, where there has never been war: the energy of war does not exist in our land.
This place, where my grandmother’s family have lived for so long, also happens to be home to the oldest segment of the Earth’s crust. And when you come to our land, and you sit down in the Tupeq-Tipi, you will realise that you are sitting in an ancient world.
In today’s world, we have forgotten that simple but beautiful ceremony in which we join together and connect with each other in spirit. My father’s mother, her name is Aanakasaa, says that “life is a ceremony in itself, worth celebrating with a ceremony”. And then she will stop, and add, “but when the ceremony loses its spirit, it becomes a ritual, and the world as it is, is full of rituals”. What does it mean that the spirit of the ceremony is dying? And she answers: “Then you and I will begin to do things because that’s the way they have been done. We don’t know exactly why, but we do it because that’s the way it’s been done.”
Having Expo 2020 in Dubai will, I pray, help us to rediscover this connection, by bringing together as many people as possible who can make a difference in the world they come from. The Expo that Dubai is hosting — and in which the world is invited to participate — is so exciting, because it represents an invite into your ‘inner world’. Your inner world, our elders tell us, is deeper than the deepest of oceans of Earth.
This meeting will not be based upon who and what tribe we come from, or languages we speak, but on our mutual need to live our lives together on the same Mother Earth. Where every living being: minerals, plants, animals and humans caring for the elements of fire, ocean, water and air, which we need to share, are all brought back into balance with one another. At the same time, we all need to earn our livelihoods, and that means creating products more sustainable to the new world we all deserve to have, in particular for the generations to come.
I have to remind myself that we have done poorly for our children and grandchildren, and the generations that will follow, because we just lived for the moment: we had not imagined or seen the impact on the Earth on which we live.
From the World Expos held throughout history, many things have resulted. Now, more than ever before, we realise the importance of these Expos because they bring us closer to one another. And now, more than ever, we understand the importance of this Expo, which seeks to unite the world. The time has come to bring lasting change; to lift the spirit of the world to a whole new level; to bring products usable by as many as possible, and affordable for as many as possible, to the entire world.
“How I long to see that new world coming to life as a result of Expo”
As we connect, I hope we can look beyond our tendency to see each other as ‘different’. Rather we should be looking at ourselves as the most beautiful garden, where the flowers are so diverse and so stunningly beautiful, just like the mankind living on this amazing world we call Mother Earth. When you come to my land of Greenland at New Year, March 21st, when the sun returns to us on ‘Top of the World’, I will show you that amazing beauty our ancestors describe to us. The beauty of the diversity of us all.
How I long to see that new world coming to life among us all as a result of your Expo. And that you are encouraging that step, making it so much more interesting because of who you are, and where you come from and, most importantly, what you can bring to us all. I look forward to sitting down over a cup of coffee and maybe even a good meal, and to explore each of us living in peace with each other. In acceptance with each other. In recognition of each other. But most importantly, in love with one another. Because love should never ever hurt.