Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Young Guyanese girls youth are being stolen.

1979 – A busy taxi driver picks up a passenger at Timehri International Airport (now Cheddi Jagan International Airport), “Where to sah?” “To Corriverton, Berbice,” replied the oversees citizen of Guyanese birth. “Suh wah yuh guh do in Corriverton?", inquired the seasoned taxi driver. The overseas man replied, “I am going to find me a nice young Guyanese gal to play with.”

Fast forward 2012 – A Facebook conversation. 50 something year old Guyanese man, from overseas reaches out to an eager 19 year old in Guyanese girl.
Man: “Hi, how are things in my home country.”
Girl: “Things looking nice.”
Man: “I really miss my country.”
Girl: “Things change up.”
Man: “I would love to visit and see, but I have no one there.”
Girl: “Nah seh suh, meh deh heh.”
Man: “You would show me around?”
Girl: “Yes of course.”

Man goes to Guyana, spends a week. Girl shows the many improvements and wonderful things happening in Guyana. One thing leads to another, they have sex. Man comes back oversees and forgets about girl. Or man comes back oversees and goes back to marry girl. Then girl comes oversees and man turns out to be protective, abusive, dominating, and violent. Wishfully, all works out and they live happily ever after.
Have you heard these recollections before? How many times? With your family, friends, or neighbors? Is this really still happening?

While there is no scientific statistical basis that I could find, this is a recurring scenario that I hear about over and over again. Being such a closed community about issues that does not portray us in a good light, we tend to sweep these darker issues under the rug. Our sisters and cousins from Guyana does not talk about this gross misleading or abuse until there is a knife put to their throats or a gun to their heads. Even more distressful, when we read about these incidents the community raises in an uproar. Facebook comments fly like AK-47s, OMG I am so sorry, So sorry for ur loss, so sad, I feel for the family and on and on… The long crocodile tears flow like the mighty Kaiteur Falls. Where were these same people when the young girl was being lured by this grown man predatorily pursuing her?

Yes there are tons of issues in Guyana that spurned a whole generation of people to flee. Some by choice, some who were too young to make that choice for themselves, the choice was made for them. Those issues are still there. Although, there are certainly some significant changes that enhance and makes Guyana very attractive to live in. There is still the yearning of many people to leave for a perceived better life overseas. While there are many who flourish and  enjoy the benefits of living in a place of their birth. It is still very common for arranged marriages and matches made in drunken bars or bottom houses.

The old practice of parents arranging marriage for their kids, especially young girls, still exist. How many people do you know seeks to find a nice Guyanese girl for their “very successful” older boys? There is absolutely nothing wrong with a relevant match. For generations match making in various societies are the norm. This practice will continue. However, when this practice is used in a reckless manner the social outcome is disastrous. What possibly, can a 50 something have in common with a 19 year old? This girl can be his child! Outrageous! This is not love and marriage as it is meant to be. This is desperate people acting irresponsibly.

This is parents not allowing their child to grow into a relationship, just the lure of going “outside”. Alternatively, young girls may not have the strength to say no. The marriage happens, young girl comes to oversees and then the drama starts. Three kids later, staying home, barefoot and pregnant in the some cold basement in the bowels on New York or New Jersey, the startling realization happens. What the hell did they get themselves into? Wait, let me point out the abuse. This man has lived here most of his life, he is probably on a second or third marriage, all of young Guyanese girls, directly from Guyana. He goes to Guyana brings another one, knocks them up, two or three kids, slaps them around, if the girl is lucky she escapes his clutches. He goes to Guyana does it all over again.

Will this cycle ever end? When will Guyanese realize that marriage and relationships are much more sacred than “better financial lives”? When will young Guyanese girls realize that a 50 something year old man has nothing in common with you? All he wants is a younger more attractive model. He could be your father. Would you go to bed with your father? I think not.

Of course there are some who will opine that there is no age in matters of the heart. I believe that. Love can happen in strange and mysterious ways. The laws of logic are thrown out of the window. But I also believe that two people should at least be able to have things in common. These commonalities happens with age, culture, exposure and a host of other factors.

Who am I to say this is an inappropriate way of carrying on life? Every person makes their own bed. I strongly believe that as a community we should have discussions about these issues and not sweep it under the rug. No two relationships are the same, neither are any two circumstances. There is always a means to an end. Or a way to better life. Do we want to continue reading the horror stories of this issue? Do we want to keep making the same Facebook comments of sadness? Older men, find someone your own age or age group. Younger girls, don’t be lured by the glamour of “outside”. Parents, start being parents. Community, let’s open a dialogue with our loved ones. We cannot keep encouraging a generation with single mothers raising kids on their own, while fathers are either deported to Guyana or allowed to keep trading in for a newer model.