Monday, August 6, 2012

Tecumseh - Symbol of Courage & Patriotism

 By 
Aazadi Fateh Muhammad
SUSI Scholar 2012 (Pakistan)

Tecumseh - an outdoor theater with state of the art production techniques - presents an epic story of human struggle and love for the Motherland. At one side, the play elaborates on historical riots between Red Indians and whites in the United States that occurred from 1784 to 1830, and, at the other side, the theater team being white but singing as Red Indian heroes represents the human courage to accept differences and disagreements.

SUSI Scholars with the the characters of Tecumseh and Rebecca


The story focused on Tecumseh, a young, brave and wise Shawnee leader of the Red Indians who believes in humanity, love and nonviolence. But, ultimately he has been made chief of his tribe and ends up sacrificing everything in his life, including his love for a white woman, for the sake of his tribe's dignity and unity. 

The last part of the drama was very emotional and mesmerizing, when Tecumseh sat to have a final word with GOD. He had lost his friends and family, his little brother betrayed him and his tribe was brutally attacked and killed, and now he had to get ready for a final fight. 

"So this is your plan for me God, you have given me everything and took it back, My Family, Friends, Love, and tribe, now I will give you my life, too." He prayed to God one last time and fought bravely to save his motherland till his martyred death. 

The play also reflected human bonds and relations in a very sensitive manner that touched and won the hearts of the audience. I believe that theater is a very strong medium to convey social messages effectively, and it must be used in some way to promote national unity, awareness and knowledge about the very presence of diversity in the world beyond borders.

SUSI Scholars with the characters of the U.S. Army


Another interesting thing for me was the disciplined and peaceful organization of such a huge audience of different ages, genders and identities at the same place for more than three hours. All of them stayed involved in the theater till the end. The majority of the audience, maybe 85 or 90 percent of it, looked like local people. I assume most foreigners and tourists might not be informed about the place, because generally tourists visit big cities or popular places only. But these sort of places and performances expose country history and native behaviors more than any museum visit. (This is my personal opinion, disagreements are most welcome.) 

The Tecumseh factual story resembles an unsung hero of Sindh (Province of Pakistan), Martyr Hoshu Sheedi. He belonged to an African descendant community in Pakistan, and fought bravely for his motherland Sindh against the British in the Battles of Miani and Dubbo (1843). His last slogan for his fight is still very famous in Sindh and people recall his struggle in every challenge for motherland Sindh: 'مرويسون مرويسون، سنڌ نہ ڏيسون,' which means we will die to death but never give up on Sindh. I wish we could have similar theatrical depictions for Martyr Hoshu Sheedi and other national heroes and role models. 

With a theatrical capacity of about eighteen hundred spectators, the naturally built Amphitheatre in Sugarloaf Mountains near Chillicothe, Ohio, seems to be a natural and exquisite milieu for infotainment environed by natural forest, mountains, trees and a sky full of stars. A unique experience of being surrounded by military, horses, battles, huge thuds and fires made the audience a part of this story, ohhhs and awws, laughs and cries showed their involvement in the play. 

Me with Alisha, who played the character of Red Indian Girl


The performance was a really hard work by the whole cast. Things such as climbing on mountains, speaking loudly, fire and stage shifts required huge efforts and energy, but I was surprised by the presence of whole team at the exit to thank, greet and see off each and every audience member. They were politely available for pictures and autographs. One group of actors, including a pretty lady Alisha in a Red Indian Costume, was especially keen to know our countries. When I said to her that it was a fantastic play, she asked me to say it in my country's language. And she pronounced it so well in her first attempt, 'Zabardast'.  We had a chat with the whole cast and a number of pictures with every one of them.

This theater has been added to the list of unique experiences of SUSI 2012!!

7 comments:

Aadarsh Fateh said...

WOW!
Sis, Keep sharing your beautiful experiences. We love to hear it. U are spreading smiles , glad to see you shining there. Love. :)

Ishaq Tunio said...

nice

Ishaq Tunio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zam said...

Miss Fateh

Your doing a very good job by sharing your experience and i am totally agree that theaters are really good piece of experiences, through which tourist can known the culture of any country as you find the experience really good which force you to share it with us.

the second thing, you mention that in Pakistan we also can represent our heroes by these kind of plays, once again i support your idea and wish, after coming back you will work on it

Regards and Best of Luck

Fateh Muhammad said...

Congratulation for this opportunity, well expressed your feelings, keep it up.

Fateh Muhammad said...

Congratulation, well expressed your feelings, you have command on words,teachers/ researchers and scholars must be able to share their feelings in natural style.. and you did it ...please keep it up, this is just beginning of your take off..and I do believe you will prove your scholarship as well as your selection one the best selection by the organization.All the best, God always bless you.

Zulfiqar Behan said...

congrats very nice good to see this plz keep it up.