I hope you are all having a lovely day.
We just started a new project called “Ology Of Apology”. This project in-tales us going on many fun and interesting adventures around Vancouver. Here is a link to the PLP instagram so you can check them all out .
Todays topic is going to be a little more serious. Today we will talking about the Komagata Maru. Now for you who dont know what im talking about here is a bit of background information. Here is also a video we watched part of a 5 episode series called “British Columbias Untold Stories”
Moving on this post will be talking about answering these 3 question “Why was a formal apology from the Canadian government important to BC’s South Asian communities?”. “How is the legacy of the Komagata Maru incident relevant to our lives today?”and last but not least “What aspect of the Komagata Maru incident should be memorialized as part of our collective public memory?”.
We learned about the Komagata Maru a lot when we visited the Gur Sikh Temple and Sikh Heritage Museum. It was a super cool place. Lots of history of Sikh heratige in Canada. I found it super cool how they had the history displayed. They had more then just Sikh History in Canada. They also had things referring to the Chinese head tax and Japanease concentration camps.
Here are some pictures of the Komagata Maru exhibit
Here is a map of the Komagata Maru’s journey
Here is a picture of those punjabi Canadian men
Now lets talk more about the questions!
First lets start with a little about the Komagata Maru. The Komagata Maru was a Japanease ship that sailed from India to Canada. It had about 300 Punjabi men on board hoping for a better life. What they got was discrimination and racism. The government of Canada didnt let them enter the country. They had to stay on the ship without food or water for 2 months while it was docked in burrard inlet. Eventually they had to leave and sail all the way back to India where they were met with british police. The police open fired and 8 passengers were killed. Looking back at this horrible event. The key motive for this mistreatment was racism. The Canadian government did not do a good job at hiding the fact they weren’t letting these people in becuase of their culture and skin colour. Looking deeper what motivated these men to think this way. We all know that back in the 1900s racism was a big thing. In that time it was considered okay to be racist. Racism does still exists today but it is a lot more subtle then it was in the past.
The formal apology from the Canadian government was important to the south asian coummunity becuase it showed a sign of respect. Back in the time of the Komagata Maru, south asians we’re dehumanized. A formal apology shows that the governemnt is trying to honour the legacy of the south asian community and how they have suffered. It is important to apologize becuase it shows responsibility and honours the minority. In this case it gave people a new view of the suffering and dehumization of the south asian community in the past.
The next thing I want to talk about is the legacy of the Komagata Maru and how it is relevant to our lives today. The Komagata Maru was has a massive impact on our lives today. Not by we dont want to make the same mistakes. Lets be honest we have repeated many bad historical events. It’s important to remember its legacy becuase it represents what systemic racism can do to a community. During this project you will hear the word racism alot. It’s important to realize how much racism still happens in our world. So having legacies of events like the Komagata Maru is important to remember becuase everyone needs to understand. So we don’t make opinions and judgements that can be harmful to communities. We have seen first hand what racist opinons and judgments can do.
Fun fact did you know that the only place in the BC archives you can find people of colour is in the books of mug shots.
Next is what part of the Komagata Maru should we memorialize in our collective memory. First, let us talk about what memorialize means. You may think to remember and honour something. If so you would only be about half right. To properly memorialize something you need to do more than just honour and remember it. You need to cherish and value what you learn from it. To memorialize something truly means to remember cherish and honour an event forever. A good example of this wood is Remembrance Day. You don’t just remember it once you cherish the legacy of those fallen soldiers. Apply the same thought to the Komagata Maru you don’t just remember it once you live with the consequences of that event. So you should always think before judging a person, group or race. To memorialize something is to make its legacy a part of your life. Think about that event more than once. Use it to inspire you to do more and be a better you. This doesn’t just apply to the Komagata Maru. This applies to every big event in human history. WW1, BLM and even Anti-Asian hate.
Two of those examples I just mentioned are something to do with racism. Systemic racism is one of those things that will always be a part of the legacy of the human race. It is something that we repeat over and over again. Histemic racism is still a huge problem in our world today and we can put somewhat of a stop to it. We can make it a lot less common. Who knows? Maybe we can get rid of racism but it will take an effort from everybody.
Here is a video I found really interesting about the Komagata Maru. It highlights what a horrible event this was. If you are looking for more information on this event specifically I highly suggest you watch it.
In conclusion, I find the Komagata Maru a really strong topic when talking about systemic racism. It has a lot of interesting facts when you look closely at its events. I have enjoyed learning about the Komagata Maru at the Komagata Maru exhibit at the Gur Sikh Temple and Sikh Heritage Museum I hope to go back soon to explore more of their deep history in Canada.
Remember to stay tuned as I will also be writing about discrimination against the Chinese and Japanese Canadians.
Bye for now.