“A people without the knowledge of

their past history, origin and culture

is like a tree without roots.”

–Marcus Garvey

The Greek War of Independence, a revolution waged against the Ottoman Empire during the years 1821 and 1822, provides us with an interesting episode regarding respect for one’s culture.

In 1822, the Turkish troops found themselves under siege at the Acropolis, surrounded by Greek revolutionaries. When the Turks had exhausted all their bullets, they started chipping away at the pillars of the Parthenon in order to extract lead which could be used as bullets. When the Greek troops came to know about this, they made an extraordinary deal. The Greeks offered that they would provide the Turks with bullets if they agreed to stop damaging the historical building. The Turks agreed, and the Greeks upheld their part of the deal by providing bullets that were to be fired back at themselves. Such was the significance of the Acropolis in the hearts of the Greeks.

Drawing parallels with contemporary Pakistani society, and looking at the lack of respect we advance towards our cultural sites, the terrifying contrast has the potential to teach us a lesson or two. We are one of the oldest civilisations on the planet, it’ll be a shame if we leave our culture to slowly die out.