I don't really like the word blog, but it seems pointless to fight it, Zis is a blog.
If you want to know more about an Algerian girl who lives in London and struggles with thoughts that are beyond the remits of her understanding, stories of society and social climbers of love and deception and of a status of seemingly eternal singlehood, then you are in the right place...
Friday 27 June 2014
Refusing to get into the grind of the World cup plethora, I
shied away from facebook (the source of everything), from all the
pictures and videos of Algerian supporters in Brazil and their antics between
matches, but it proved an arduous task and an impossibility to anyone with any
remote access to any kid of media, to avoid Algerian supporters or the ever
catchy Wan To Tré Viva l’Algiré
My first thought was that Algerians needed an excuse to celebrate
in unison, as though they’re starved for unity, to be all as one rooting for
the same goal, pun intended, then I thought there’s more to it than that, at
the sight of the several videos circulating online of our hilariously creative
and other narcissistic supporters (Yes you!), brandishing their flags,
passports and chemma* to proclaim their right to be THERE amongst these strong
nations of football.
Amongst so many things I read about THAT, was this brilliant
piece by Dadathwen Eldhoudhi called “Le
Wantotrisme pour les nuls” and was absolutely gutted I hadn’t thought of it
first, but it turns out there is a whole and actual bibliography written on the
topic for over 40 years now. Do your research!
I guess Dadathwen said
it all for me but not quite, so I am presenting my first amendment – My vision is somewhat different…
The Wantorism is often synonyms with Watanism, it involves a
state of unconscious and often indoctrinated patriotism that often centres around
sporting events, mostly international ones, where the perpetrators get to dive
head first into a much craved National Unity, where only three colours are
brandished, Green, White and Red and only three numbers are chanted One, Two,
Three in a slogan complied of Three languages “One, two and Three. Viva l’Algerie”.
It’s the trinity of Unity.
This induced sense of unity; much like the false sense of
romance, music envelopes you in when watching a Hollywood flick and it jerks a
tear out of your tired, emotional and ready to cry soul, wantotrism brings back
thoughts of struggle, of the martyrs of the war of independence, a sense of overdue
recognition and merit.
Algerians are very much like that; soft-hearted and
hot-headed. Willing to stand against any
transgression, ready to defend Algeria, Arabism, Palestine, Islam, Africanism
(depending on the adversary), Syrians, Afghani and Iraqis but not Berbers, Mzab
or Twareg, but their music is cool, so the colours will be brandished and unity
will be celebrated despite the unexplainable chasm secretly felt but often ignored, maybe
it’s imaginary or induced a la Hollywood! You know who's to blame!
The Wantotrisme is the Un-Researched and unfounded sense of ownership
and achievement, of overzealous pride of all things “originating” from Algeria,
Zlabia, Schumacher, Andalusi music, Islam (The religion not the player), Idir,
Tinariwen, Gnawa music, Cheb Khaled, not so much Cheb Mami, any kind of Tagine
and Deglet Nour. All chant the co-dependant national anthem and glee.
Wantotrism came about and became a culture, an integral part
of the Algerian identity, part hooliganism, part nationalism, funny but irritating,
proud yet shameful but above all loyal to itself and to its team, winning or
losing (unlike the English fans). It’s a
gene, a mutation, every Algerian has it, the syndrome manifesting itself in
some not others.
Some known albeit not very effective antidotes is
taking oneself too seriously or being a Judas, at ones own peril. You have been warned.
Algerian! ------------ * a sort of disgusting sniffing tobacco