Wavin’ Flag… where my country’s at?

Once every 4 year, it’s the World Cup season. In every international event like this, apart from the athletes and the games itself, there’s also the theme song. When I think of FIFA, that "i got knockdown" song immediately flashed across my mind like an over-rang ringtone. That was one successful and uplifting theme song, exactly what the "European-loaded" FIFA wanted. 


Well, this year it’s a little different. The official theme song is actually Shakira’s "Waka-waka," which was, in my and others’ opinion, too South American, instead of South African. It’s still a great pumping song, but it’s got the wrong element of culture, on the wrong Continent. Did the FIFA Europeans think it’s already non-European enough and therefore it reached the boundary of alienation tolerance?

The song that captured my attention was "Wavin’ Flag" by K’naan, the Somalian immigrant from Canada. The song was first rejected by FIFA because of it’s political content. Later Coca adopted the "Celebration Mix" of the Wavin’ Flag that dropped the so-called "dark lyrics" and went to plain "uplifting." While it still retains the chorus and fits much better with the theme of the World Cup, I still much prefer the original version. Why? Because it stirs the water, triggers discussion, and most importantly, echoes with my most profound desire/hope to a country.

From "gimme hope, Joana" of Eddie Grant to Wavin’ Flag, songs often tell the inner most desires. K’naan said this song was actually a recast of his childhood memory in Somalia, where 3 of his buddies were shot and died when the 4 of them were playing on the streets. The song delivered a sense of "hope" when it sings:

"when I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag"

The tone of "when" and "will," the goal of "stronger" and "freedom" pictured the dream of future.

but then it follows by:

"and then it goes back, and then it goes back,
and then it goes back, and then it goes back…"

Goes back to what? this is the line that raised my question (so was ger). Back to the past? as history repeats itself? K’naan was likely not satisfied by the way how the world has raised concerned and voices, yet did little else. So just when hope was on the rise, so was disappointments. K’naan is free, in CANADA, he’s a proud Canadian, but when he’s looking back to Somalia, the same issues are still there. And how many years has it been since we first heard of the pirates and issues in Somalia? Exactly. 

In a matter of fact, K’naan openly expressed his support for the pirate activities around Somalian water. In a radio interview in early 2010, he said: 

"A lot of people don’t like me for saying this but I’m in support of the pirates. Massive western companies would come to Somalia and dump nuclear toxic waste containers on the shore because there was no government controlling the shorelines. So these pirates initially went into the ocean to make them pay for that sort of thing. So they just take everything for ransom. That actually helped us clear our environment."

I don’t understand the pirates issues around Somalian water enough to judge on the issues. Yet I do have a lot to reflect from his Wavin’ Flag. While the a majority of the population in Taiwan are looking for a future that "remains the status quo" (which means: ROC (TAIWAN), Taiwan, ROC, and Chinese Taipei), I am in 100% support of the de facto independence of Taiwan, ilha Formosa.

I want a real country that is recognized internationally AND GLOBALLY. I am not gonna go all American peagent and look for world peace or all united as one. I believe that people are NOT supposed to be the same and hence, the differences of opinions. But I still look for a real country that truly possesses equality and freedom in the global village. I look to have an unambiguous national name that is neither confusing nor deceiving. We could still be facing the blue/green issues, the environment/development issues, or even the north/south issues. I don’t even mind explaining the "new" name of my country to the foreigners, whether it’s Taiwan, Formosa, or others.

It ain’t gonna be easy, well recognized. We’ve witnessed the independence of Kosovo, which went through a major war with NATO and countless conflicts. We’ve also witnessed the lift of apartheid and its consequences in South Africa. These events were historical, the result of movements, efforts, and of course, wishes and dreams. 

It sounds futuristic, and therefore "when" and "will."

We had a movement, the "recognize-local" during Chen’s era. Currently it’s the "recognize-China" (i’m trying to be friendly here) wave. 

Where is my freedom? Where’s our flag that I will be proudly waved in my hand?

Are we going back right now?

How many times will we have to repeat the chorus?


Let’s just enjoy the music for now…

Wavin’ Flag, by K’naan, from the Album "Troubadour"
When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back, and then it goes back

Born to a throne, stronger than Rome
But Violent prone, poor people zone
But it’s my home, all I have known
Where I got grown, streets we would roam
Out of the darkness, I came the farthest
Among the hardest survival
Learn from these streets, it can be bleak
Except no defeat, surrender retreat

So we struggling, fighting to eat and
We wondering when we’ll be free
So we patiently wait, for that fateful day
It’s not far away, but for now we say

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back, and then it goes back

So many wars, settling scores
Bringing us promises, leaving us poor
I heard them say, love is the way
Love is the answer, that’s what they say
But look how they treat us, make us believers
We fight their battles, then they deceive us
Try to control us, they couldn’t hold us
Cause we just move forward like Buffalo Soldiers

But we struggling, fighting to eat
And we wondering, when we’ll be free
So we patiently wait, for that faithful day
It’s not far away, but for now we say

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, and then it goes
When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, and then it goes
(Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh)
And everybody will be singing it
(Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh)
And you and I will be singing it
(Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh)
And we all will be singing it
(Ohhh Ohh Ohh Ohh)

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