Monday, January 24, 2011

Fun of History

When I was younger, or should I say young and in school I never like History as a subject of education. Or precisely I hated History. I never did well in it and I never enjoyed it. Our teachers for History were however quite good people very loving and supportive but the subject was just boring! I enjoyed working with figures, numbers and chemicals more. However these days I find myself being continuously intrigued by history especially of development, leadership, the church and so on. May be two great writers and thinkers have had something to do with this change of mind. After reading Leo Tolstoy's war and Peace sometimes in the nineties, Ken Follets Eye of the needle and Dangerous Fortune only made it better. Now I have just finished his epic Pillars of the Earth and I find myself even more interested in the earlier peoples lives.

However what this novel showed me more than anything else is the similarity of the European world in those days to what we observe these days in most parts of Africa. It seemed to answer my questions about lawlessness, respect, worship and generally peoples attitude towards hard work. All these short cuts tried out by most people in our land, the corruption, violence and rape all have a meaning and a reason. In fact recently during my visits to Europe, I was more drawn to historical sights such as the castles, the Kolner Dom (the most striking construction yet that I have seen), city of Trier, etc.

Study of history is a sweet thing.  Maybe being examined in it is not since everyone of us picks a different thing from reading history.

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