I often think of things in weird ways. The other day I was in a Newcastle pub with a large group of fellow international students. They were from all over the world. Germany, France, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, Spain, America, England, Ireland, and Denmark just to name a few.
Here they all were, having drinks together, dancing, laughing, and just being friends. I’m really not sure if I can put the experience into words and still do it justice. I couldn’t help think to myself “Wow, at one point in time, everyone’s ancestors fought each other.” That’s a rather bulky and awkward sentence, yet I don’t know any other way of saying it.
For example, I was sitting with my friends from Germany. Our ancestors tried to kill eachother, they fought two major wars with eachother. Their ancestors also fought the ancestors of my French friends, who’s ancestors in turn fought my English friend’s ancestors.
Smiling, I look over to my Irish friend, and remember how her ancestors were victims of genocide and occupation by my English friend’s ancestors. My Spanish friend passes me the bottle of wine; her ancestors brutally oppressed my Dutch friend’s ancestors, and even tried to invade England at one time. Had her ancestors succeeded, I would probably be speaking Spanish.
Here we were, all with bloody histories of trying to kill one another. Here we were in a pub, enjoying eachother’s company as friends. Two people, who 100 years ago might have slit eachother’s throats were up on the dance floor together having fun.
This just blows my mind. Sitting there in that pub, looking at all my friends with this fact in mind, the feeling I got was akin to coming home to a loved one. In that pub I felt surrounded by family. Sure we were all from different nations and cultures, but we all had the same needs and fears, we were all human and capable of being friends.