S: 9th Grade Honors World Cultures Final Project 5/20/12
FC: This is me. | (A collection of poems about the different regions of the world and their history) | By: Jalaysha Joy B
3: This is me. I am still your brother with skin dipped in chocolate Dark brown eyes that hold my soul scars forever on my hands and heart My home is in the land of the beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro The vast ocean of the Sahara desert where you can hear the voices of 54 nations When you look at the hands of my nation tracing the patterns you see Gold traded for salt salt for gold we slowly started to grow a nation Then all the sudden my life was shattered as white men came with iron hearts To put me and my dreams into iron chains when they decided I was worth a price Scars on my hands back heart all for wicked ways of men Day after day I cried out but no one came to free me
4: Slowly the white men tried to break the chains that held me from my dreams But the chains were on too long and they had rubbed my heart raw However I am still a human being just like you So I tried to rebuild my beautiful nation piece by piece by piece People wanted my land wanted to take from me the Only thing I had left and so I fought them Another battle that left scars but slowly calluses grew over them And I let my heart have wings to soar with a great pride for my country All to soon though another battle hit as my chocolate brown skin Was judged under a white man's microscope and decided to be inferior
5: I didn't know why it was so wrong after all didn't God make every man's skin But they didn't care and I was separated again Forced to take the bottom rungs of the ladder I was so tired of fighting battles bigger than myself this was my land my skin my dream So I dusted myself off scars and all and fought to get my shredded dignity back Now I am growing even though I have daily struggles But through the stories my mama sang to me I know I'll get through it I am still your brother with skin dipped in chocolate, Dark brown eyes that hold my soul, scars forever on my hands and heart And my home will always be the strong Africa.
7: This is me. I am still your sister with caramel colored silky skin Eyes that never stop smiling even though sometimes my life is hard However not many could think that life could be hard in the land Of many monsoons and the Taj Mahal jewel of my region More beautiful than that is the sound of a thousand languages That flow from the mouths of my diverse people Diverse is my land and people with many religions we all Worship and many gods but deep down we are still the same
8: Are not we all still the same even though the caste system was put in place Long ago and it divided brother against brother sister against sister You can walk in my village and see me made a young woman with a House and husband to care for even though I am still only I child deep down inside But to find me you have to look deep inside where I am carefully hidden From prying eyes and ways of the world we as women are not shown to the world Are we not like any other country even though the British came and Influenced our ways and my people and left their mark upon us in good ways and bad Does not everyone else follow great leaders like our great Mohandas Ghandi Who taught us the ways of the wise and fought for world peace with silence
10: We tried to gain peace and freedom even though our Oppressors did not want us fighting so we hid ourselves again When independence seemed like it was to be a dream no more but instead A reality I rejoiced with all my heart and my eyes smiled at me in the mirror Then brother against brother fought over differences in religion But even though one is Muslim or Hindu are we not the same deep down inside So we solved our differences and resolved to move on with only a couple of scars and we Are working towards feeding our many small hungry children who need a future Slowly we are opening up and showing ourselves to the world being nice But not too friendly because we are all the same inside though our ways are different
11: I know as we keep growing and remembering our lives Though struggles come we are one people and we will thrive This is me. I am still your sister with caramel colored silky skin Eyes that never stop smiling even though my life can be hard And my home will always be the simply-complex South Asia.
12: This is me. I am still your brother with skin tanned by The sun and hands that move as I tell my story My story takes place in two places one in land by the Sea and another with the land surrounded by the great waves Is not my little part of the world pretty with all of its Many diverse people and their cultures formed by the dividing mountains Here we proudly show our fresh catch of the day or The new rice shoots sprouting and poking up through the earth
13: Our women here are treasured and we all stand equal as we All worship many gods from our many diverse religions We shared our responsibilities and in return we gathered Silks and spices and goods which gave us great wealth Our wealth we earned attracted other men from their lands And they came hungry for a taste of our world and its bounty We rose up and fought my brother and sister and I Determined to fight for our land our world our lives
14: Other battles raged on in the world around us but nothing mattered Nothing but saving our beautiful home and all that was ours Finally the other men gave up and left and gave us back our land And we were happy and rejoiced because it was truly ours Though we depended on outside trade we changed and Our land gave us wealth again and we went on living
15: Today we remain in our great little part of the world and I Never want to leave because this is my home I am still your brother with skin tanned by The sun and hands that move as I tell my story And my home will always be the beauteous Southeast Asia.
16: This is me. I am still your brother with a worn-out cowboy hat and Piercing blue eyes that are set in my weather-worn honest face In my land I am up before the pulsing sun shows its freshly scrubbed Face and glows over the wild Outback which I have come to know as home With my dinner on my back and a worn novel in my hand I Roll along with my horse as smooth as the ocean surrounding me at all corners Out here only the toughest survive and many of us trace our blood back To the toughest humans to ever walk this place the survivors of the penal colony
17: Me and my neighbors out here the white smiles against tan skin and the Piercing white against the ebony skin we all blend together to make the human race | Not too long ago the shiny yellow stuff gold they call it drew the Foolish men to my land but that is gone now and only real men survive
18: Us men out here we work before the sunrise over land herding a sea of wool or under The earth in tunnels bringing up the jewels Mother Earth hides between her layers It is a daily struggle but I will not live anywhere else because after every Day while I am scrubbing the dirt off my face I know this land is mine I am still your brother with a worn-out cowboy hat and Piercing blue eyes that are set in my weather-worn honest face And my home will always be the rugged Australia.
20: This is me. I am still your sister with an icy smile and a Round face hidden behind my hood of furs My home is a place where a bustling city contrasts with an icy tundra Where the golden plains and tall green trees compliment each other Life is a little different for people here where only a part of the land is Livable because the other part is an unforgiving icy grave The rich soil in the Great Plains helps us to survive as do the rich Mineral resources that my country is famous for having Though we have not many people we all encourage one another to Preserve out cultures and ways of life and never let them go
22: A couple of us in my region are especially unique having a French trapper for a daddy and a mommy with an Indian name We felt a little threatened when others came into our land and Started expanding and moving towards us and so we began to fight However they were curious to learn our distinct ways of life and Our ways of doing things so we showed them and they learned and used our ways People began fighting wanting a piece of our land and they gave it a New name "New France" they called it but I didn't care longs as it was mine Then them British people came and fought the French and defeated them and Then the British decided they were going to take a turn ruling my country
24: We are an extraordinary people out here and the British ruled us in two parts but Not for long before we grew tired of them and decided to revolt against them So they united us into one and gave us some rights but before long we Needed a strong government to keep us stable and steady So we took some ideas from here and there and shaped them to fit All our own needs and came up with a Parliamentary Democracy Our women though didn't have many rights and so my grandmother and Other strong brave women fought for the rights my sisters and I have today We are somewhat of a peculiar nation but we are like any other nation in that Some of our provinces fight against each other each one trying to be heard
26: Some of us with French roots struggle to keep them alive but as a Country we must remain united so we stand strong Though some favor Separatist views I am all for my country no Matter what part we are talking about no matter their background For we are a cultural masterpiece and each new tradition and way of Doing things adds a stroke to the painting and I want nothing more This is me. I am still your sister with an icy smile and a Round face hidden behind my hood of furs And my home will always be the unique Canada.
29: This is me. I am still your sister dainty in stature but big in dreams Showing behind my snapping brown-black eyes My home is in a place of royalty with the Great Wall standing Proud and the faint lines of the old Silk Road Long ago many great royal dynasties ruled and they taught My ancestors the ways of the wise and the prosperous The majestic ways of our Emperors of old served us well and there is Only good reason behind why we call ourselves the center of Earth Millions of us live here and we call it home and most all of us Can trace our roots back to honored ancestors
31: Confucianism and Daoism and many more great teachings we Follow strictly because the people are the backbone of the country Elders are to be respected by everyone and every man has His place in life which he must learn quickly and stick to In my noble family you will see all my family my son and his Wife and their son and my father all of us live and work together Hard work and loyalty to your family is the only way to Survive and this is how my great country survived the many raids A disgrace was the Opium War where outsiders tricked our men into Submitting to a substance but in time we righted our thinking
32: Unequal and unfair treaties caused my regal neighbors and I take a look About and decide we wanted change so we revolted against our injustices Struggling was only common after our victory and struggle we did to Being out the imperialism hidden inside us long ago A monster was hidden among our ranks though and in time Communism's ugly head reared up and we were taken Regally we served our leader though he led us down a hard Road and when he died we sought to turn away from the mistakes So we did and now we have been building up our family and Our lives and our nation and we are succeeding more each day
35: Though the harsh marks of Communism have not yet fully been erased we Are working towards peace and freedom and our old regal living Life is good now as we build new things and think of New ideas and we never forget our royal ancestors and their lives This is me. I am still your sister dainty in stature but big in dreams Showing behind my snapping brown-black eyes And my home will always be the majestic China.
36: This is me. I am still your brother with unruly brown hair and Thick strong hands that serve to emphasize as I tell my tale Have you heard of my land home to the largest country In the entire world and home to seemingly endless plains Many different cultures coming from many different people and Different religions all come together to make this region From a Muslim brother to the old and respected Byzantine Christianity from the dark-skinned to the light-skinned we all belong Maybe from a tale you have listened to and learned we have good Rulers and bad we have Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible who both ruled
39: Even some great leaders such as the famed Peter the Great made his Home here in my heart of my regions leaving behind his mark Back then as the tales say there were social classes and everyone Knew how they were thought of and followed the rules obediently The great Orthodox Church ruled all political and social affairs as the Serfs and Peasants looked up at the steeple and wished for freedom Expansion is an exciting story to tell as I do just that telling of how My region kept rapidly spreading its boundaries to the ends of earth With the new big territory there was some unrest amongst my Ancestors and they grew impatient with the Czar ruling them
41: So the story goes on to recount the revolutions and the spilling of Blood all to bring down the Czar and give voices to the people However soon after the effects of WWI and WWII after they came to Happen and the new nation was unsteady on her feet People turned against other people and criticized them for the Way they worshiped the way they looked and many grieved A new thing called Communism slowly began to rise and with An iron fist it drove my ancestors to harsh and brutal ways Seventy-four long years of it and not without any effect but No bad thing can last forever and it fell taking the economy with it
43: Starting a new chapter in life my grandfather worked hard to make This place a better place although the economy was severely damaged Help did come but it was too late to make a difference in the lives of Many the lives that were spent waiting in line for the day's bread Ever so slowly my nation began to rise from the ashes and brush itself Off and we became mighty again though it is an ongoing process The story of my region is not over yet and as its inhabitants try new Things and new ways to better themselves more is written. This is me. I am still your brother with unruly brown hair and Thick strong hands that serve to emphasize as I tell my tale And my home will always be the mighty Eastern Europe.
45: This is me. I am still your brother with a pocket watch and an Overcoat and a dashing smile that accompanies my good manners When you come to visit here you simply must stop to see the Rhine river and cobblestone streets with lampposts guarding each side The "boot of Italy" might beckon you to come and take a closer Look or maybe the Alps located in my nation of many wonders Upon coming here you can learn the fascinating history of the Ancient Greeks and their neighbors who taught us how to seek for knowledge Here is the home to the famous knights who served their Lord and Lady Faithfully as the Feudal system of the past created their ranks
46: 'Twas the Black Plague that took my dear grandmother's grandmother Killing people as it went until every mother wept with only a mother's deep grief The call of the Renaissance awakened us and we were hungry to know more About our ancestors and deep within ourselves of then and of now If you perhaps make it a point to visit us you will likely hear the tales of the Age of Exploration as we journeyed to spread our religion and our knowledge This was only the wee beginning as next the Scientific Revolution was born as We studied the textbooks and our brains to find faster better quicker smoother ways Never stopping we continued our famed learning through the Period of Enlightenment Where our art of ways of going through life were changed as we saw our purpose in life
48: Not too long ago if you'd have come walking the street you would hear the Factories clanging and plugging on as the Industrial Revolution came and took place All these periods of history where knowledge came into our hands Were prosperous but no great nation does not have some scars The World Wars we fought in cost us the unity of a nation and we Did not leave any war without the handmade scars etched on our souls Hanging our heads in shame no pride is in us when we think of the Holocaust and the terrible things done by fellow humans led by the Devil himself Come with me to my nation and you will see we have had some Bad days and we have had some good days and we just keep going
51: Indeed today as others are immigrating into my dear lands as they come Onto the shores we are learning to welcome them as our family Prosperity will not be in our favor forever but as long as it is we Will continue to rise up and grow and seek for knowledge This is me. I am still your brother with a pocket watch and an Overcoat and a dashing smile that accompanies my good manners And my home will always be the accomplished Western Europe
52: This is me. I am still your brother with smooth brown hair and an Easy smile that flashes often no matter the occasion My land is a chain of islands connected by culture and Ways of life though water may separate us physically Though we have not much land we have many people and Not much space but we make do with what we have | Most of my land is mountainous but my people and I get Along in our close quarters in the land we can live on We are almost all from the same ancestors and we choose to separate Ourselves from the rest of the world because we are a distinct people
53: From the earliest of days our ancestors split themselves into clans and Decided ranks within the clans to keep a structure for life One clan rose from them all and declared to have been given Ruling rights from a bronze mirror jeweled necklace and an iron sword Then we looked across the sea and found China a great country like Ours but they were more advanced and so we intentionally observed their ways Some of their ways we tried like a young child copies the older but We kept only what we liked and discarded what we did not need Then our feudal system began to take shape and the men became fierce Samurai and they obeyed their lords and would lay down their lives for him
54: Then the shogun became known to my people and a figure of war He taught my people ways of fighting and my country was forever battling Then the wise called for a reunited country instead of a place where Brothers were split and they fought hard and achieved peace and unity People began to come into our land but we always did just fine on Our own and so as more people came we began to start wondering We were always fine on our own and we had our religions many of Them that connected us with nature and through nature the gods Marriages arranged and children taught to respect elders and Everyone working together these were our values and we were able to stand
57: But all too soon the people of the West began knocking at our door and They forced us to sign treaties unequal to us and they gained rights Like the wind softly rustling the leaves so we grew uneasy and At last we overthrew our shogun and started a process of change Then the troubled waters reached our shore and many wars and Bloodshed occurred as we fought over many things I wish we did not We regret not giving up to the Western people because they Dropped two bombs that wiped out part of my country and my family Defeated we gave up the ways of our ancestors because fighting Was not for us and so we adopted new ways and a new government
58: It was slowly at first that we experienced our old Prosperity but we never needed help and we didn't now Soon enough our economy raced ahead and we become known for Our technology and our industrialized ways and our economic miracle Though our growth has brought about pollution and lack of space for Our people we are still working towards making ourselves a better nation We are succeeding and growing and our ancestors would be proud At our new way of doing things and our everyday accomplishments This is me. I am still you brother with smooth brown hair and an Easy smile that flashes often no matter the occasion And my home will always be the independent Japan.
61: This is me. I am still your brother with strong arms and a Mind full of ideas and new imaginings My home though split is a place where two cultures From two different countries come together in harmony We are as unique as the oil my mother uses to cook my meals The two parts of my country are like oil and fresh water Mountainous land covers my country and the coastal Plains and long coastline help define my people's lives Education and skill is important here and I don't think we could Be half as prosperous if this were not the case
62: We live in harmony and we all came to my land the same Way as our nomadic ancestors came and settled here Other people came into our lands and ruled us at times and Sought comfort and refuge from the challenges in their country Just like any other great country we had great dynasties and Great and powerful rulers who led us until the invasion The invasion you want to know was a time when the Japanese Tried to come into our lands but we fought them off steadily Then the Manchus came and we were weak just like any Other country would be after fighting such a fight
63: Tired of others who thought they could rule us we isolated Ourselves from the world and shut our doors to everyone When our dynasty began to decline and everyone kept knocking at Our door we finally reopened the doors rusted from no use
64: Barely the doors were opened and people came rushing in to My country all fighting over something they had no right to The Japanese took over and forced my people into serving them and We tried to revolt but after many were killed we stopped trying Deep inside we kept close to us and close to our hearts the Ways of my forefathers just like any other person would Are we not like any other country when we rejoiced as the Japanese were defeated in WWII and independence called Little did we know when the USA and the USSR offered to help us Regain independence we were on our way to a split nation
67: The Cold War separated our rescuers the USA and USSR and slowly My country broke apart like ice after the winter season Finally it was declared and we were split for life and brother against Brother and sister against sister they fought and my heart was torn Our North today is a Communist closed state still a little unsteady while the South is authoritarian rule and a has prosperous economy I am just like any other citizen even though my nation is broken in Two we are still one nation deep inside though you must look hard This is me. I am still your brother with strong arms and a Mind full of ideas and new imaginings And my home will always be the fascinating Korea.
69: This is me. I am still your sister with a river of black Hair and a lilting voice that floats up as I sing my story If you listen you will find my country my nation Is a unique sort of experience you find no where else From the roaring and mighty Amazon to the equally Powerful earthquakes that makes the earth groan Not so long ago as my wise grandmother sings Europe and Asia and Africa all came and influenced my world
71: They sang their traditions and my people listened and We took bits and pieces until we became a mosaic of culture Our own native people the Aztecs and Mayans they add To our history many accomplishments not forgotten There was bad too and you can listen as I whisper of A painful treatment of human beings as slaves The slaves were treated cruelly and their red blood stained my Ground forever and I am ashamed though every song has tears
73: Then people fought for my land dividing it up and taking Away from me and my people our land we worked and loved They were too strong though and they took it from us and We were judged and put on the bottom of a social ladder Slowly a fire began to burn within my people and Revolutions and fights for freedom broke out We were tired of our songs being changed and we stood Up and let them ring strong and true and made others listen
74: We fought against them and broke the chains that Oppressed us and at last we were free again Others around us worked hard against injustice and My brothers and sisters became free people Now I am singing every day and I am so Happy because it is my land my life my love Sometimes this new life is a little hard and I get a little down but then I am reminded I have victory
75: So today my people just keep on singing and Dancing and loving each other everyday We are making progress in this world we live In and I cannot stop smiling and dancing This is me. I am still your sister with a river of black Hair and a lilting voice that floats up as I sing my story And my home will always be the liberating Latin America
76: This is me. I am still you sister with thick brown hair and a face With defined features and hands that are rough from hard work I like it here in my little part of the world stuck in The middle of great countries like Africa and Asia and Europe We are a great mix of people here a blend of many cultures and Ways brought by traders to my lands long ago
77: Distinctive history and lives are normal here and when I Look around I see many people Muslims and Jews and Arabs The scarcity of clear cool water does not stop my people but Instead we make the land prosperous with life-giving irrigation
78: In the place where I live you can see all the sea ports to the Many vital sea routes we have in our region This is where Alexander the Great showed his bravado and courage In conquering all the land in as far as he could see Jews and Christians are many here and their voices Lift in a beautiful praise to their One True God A God that they chose to follow even though the World disagrees and they are persecuted daily Also here is many other religions and the gods and idols they Serve and follow in their different ways and tongues
80: We live a simple village life here and we all work together In our families of which we are very proud of Working together we plow and plant and we rejoice As we watch the little green sprouts push up into the clean air Outside foreigners we need none of because we have each Other and if that is not enough than what else in this world is
81: Many conflicts arise here that we are not proud of but all The same we fight and eventually most of us receive justice We are not a perfect people but no one in this world is And we are all human beings trying to make a living in this world This is me. I am still you sister with thick brown hair and a face With defined features and hands that are rough from hard work And my home will always be the distinct Middle East.
82: This is me. | This is me. | This is me. | This is me. | This is me. | This is me.
83: This is me. | This is me. | This is me. | This is me. | This is me. | THIS IS ME.