Monday, October 11, 2010

Day four - Unlikely pilgrims...

A symbol of freedom - the clear blue African sky that I wake
up to every day
I would love to invite Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, to walk all 780km of the Camino with me in 2012.

I'd love to hear how someone like him justifies his actions of the last couple of years, in fact, lets change that to his entire life. Granted, the world you're born into shapes and influences you tremendously, but at some stage you certainly have the ability to decide what is right and wrong for yourself.

Looking at him today, parading himself, his son (who has come from nowhere and doesn't have enough space on his jacket for all his new medals) and his army of robot-like soldiers to the world media, made me feel both anger and sadness at the same time.

I don't think the world media should indulge him, if you can't show everything, you should refuse to show what the 'esteemed leader' permits you to broadcast into the homes of the entire world. I just found it extremely hard to look at his obviously overweight profile when we all know that hundreds of people in his country have died of hunger.

I am reading 'Nothing to Envy - Real lives in North Korea' by Barbara Demick at the moment, so I am particularly focused on the country and it's history. It seems unreal that this incredible tragedy is a reality for so many people in 2010.

Then there is the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner, democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison last year for 'inciting subversion'. His wife had to inform him on Sunday that he'd won the the prize. Her telephone communication has now been cut off, amongst other things. This is happening in CHINA? In 2010?

What are we not getting?

So anyway. If I could choose two people today to take along on the Camino, it would be those two men. Kim Jong-il and Liu Xiaobo. Imagine walking with one on either side of you. For 780km.

I wonder if I'll be able to get a word in...

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