Top 60 Signs That You Might Have A Colonial Mentality

Colonialism may appear to have become a thing of the past but the insidious effect it left behind namely colonial mentality still lives on.

By Emmanuel Onitayo
Top 60 Signs That You Might Have A Colonial Mentality

Colonialism And Colonial Mentality

Colonialism is a phenomenon used to describe the control of a country's resources, people, politics, and policies by another superior or powerful nation. The history of this practice is quite extensive and definitely beyond the scope of this piece. However, even though European countries namely Britain, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Russia were the major benefactors of this practice, colonialism had its origin from the African country of Egypt.
The period between the 15th and 19th century represents the time when Europe exercised maximum dominion over different nations of the world. In fact, as one scholar, Philip T. Hoffman observed it, about 84% of the entire Globe was under Europe's control. Various European nations dominated many countries of the world then and determined what took place in those countries both economically and politically.
However, beginning from the year 1945, colonialism started fading off as nations once colonized agitated and secured their political independence. This wave continued sweeping till nearly all nations of the world regained their sovereignty and broke away from their colonial masters. But as expected, the over four decades practice left behind a mark on the people and countries colonized, and one of the aftermaths of colonization is the colonial mentality many of the people now carry around.
Though free on paper, some of the people of these once-colonized countries still carry with them a colonized mindset. In their subconscious, they seem to admit that they owe their survival (if not their existence altogether) to their colonial masters and define whatever they do by the standard of their former conquerors. This insidious effect is so great that natives no longer cherish their language, culture, skin color, and tribe but instead, prefer and glorify those of their colonial masters in place of and above theirs.
Put simply; these are suffering from an inferiority mindset. That is perhaps while this attitude is rightly called colonial mentality. In countries where this attitude is prevalent, citizens look down upon their fellows if they don't resemble their colonial masters as much as they thought they should. One of such countries where the colonial mentality is ravaging is the Philippines.

Filipinos And The Colonial Mentality

The Philippines is an Asian country which has a long history of colonization in the hands of their erstwhile Spanish and American conquerors. Filipinos were under their Spanish taskmasters for over 300 years (1565 - 1898) before the US took over in 1898 and exercised authority over the land and people till 1946 when the Philippines was officially granted independence. Such a long time of political, economic, and cultural servitude by the Filipinos has done no less damage to the culture and uniqueness of the people. Today, an average Filipino wants to appear, talk, dress, and look like an American. It appears that apart from their resources and government that their colonial masters controlled, they were also able to control the people's perception of themselves. While most Filipinos admit to exhibiting some degrees of the colonial mentality, others don't even see it as such. That is to say; they see the exhibition of their inferiority complex as absolutely normal. As with other nations battling with the colonial mentality, you don't have to conduct extensive research before you see this unfortunate trend. Only a visit to the Philippines and a knowledge of the American people and culture are all you need to see how far the cankerworm has eaten deep into the fabrics of the people. However, it is not only in the Philippines that the colonial mentality is ravaging; the phenomenon cuts across other Asian and African countries where Europeans and Americans once dominated. Colonial mentality isn't a challenge for the poor or uneducated either; it affects even the elites and top-rated citizens of these countries. As such, we shall be considering some 60 signs that you have a colonial mentality of which you may not even know. Although we shall be using Filipinos as a case study in this piece, the principle is the same for other places where the phenomenon holds sway. Here they are.

Signs You're Having A Colonial Mentality

1. You feel inferior just because of your nationality. In other words, if you are a Filipino, you feel that the westerners are naturally superior to you in intellect, culture, and otherwise.
2. Anytime your heritage is being spoken of by people especially by the westerners, you cannot but feel ashamed or embarrassed. This can include your food, dressing, and culture in general.
3. Somehow, you hate yourself for not being an American or European. In other words, when you think about the fact that you are a Filipino, there is a kind of self-dislike feeling that runs through your system.
4. Instead of Tagalog or any of the other native languages, you prefer to speak in English and would rather scold your child for speaking any language other than English.
5. To you, the meaning of being educated is one's ability to communicate fluently in English, and you wouldn't consider a person is speaking Tagalog as being educated enough irrespective of their degrees.
6. You are having a colonial mentality if you discriminate against your own people whom you consider less westernized than your self-determined definition of westernization. In other words, you don't want to associate with a Tagalog who has refused to buy into your colonial mindset.
 7. In your definition of beauty, any skin color outside of white cannot be attractive, and you won't mind doing anything if only to get your skin bleached. In the same vein, you automatically tag anyone who has gotten a white or fair skin 'beautiful.'
8. You are having a colonial mentality if you make a jest of other ethnic groups who haven't been much influenced by your conquerors. You would rather see them as being naïve, backward, and not exposed.
9. You support the oppression of your people by the westerners that you so much adore.
The reason for this is because, in your subconscious, you have managed to believe that any- and everything that is done by the westerners must be right. As such, if there is a clash of interest, it must be your people that must be at fault.
10. You give an honor you would never give to your parent, superior, spiritual father, or your Tagalog brethren to a westerner. Somehow, you have managed to see them as a god in your mind.

More Signs You Have A Colonial Mentality

11. You would rather spend the whole day watching American movies than check out one or two great works the Filipino entertainment industry has to offer. In fact, to you, nothing good can come out of their Nazareth.
12. In the company of white folks who are probably your colleagues, you would rather keep quiet than contributing even though you are sure of what to say. You fear that your opinion cannot be a pal with your white colleagues.
13. You despise your native accents and look down on anyone that champions the promotion of it. In your thinking, your definition of a nice and trendy accent are those spoken by the Europeans and Americans. Anyone that converses even in English but with the local accent is considered not trendy.
14. In making a marital choice, you would rather go for a morally questionable white spouse than settling for a native that you even know to be good morally. In fact, you consider yourself "lucky" to be a spouse to a westerner.
15. You've read so many foreign books but haven't laid your hand on any of the locally produced ones. To you, there is nothing you can gain from locally-written books because the authors must be inexperienced since they are Filipinos.
16. Things have to be "made in France, England, or Germany" before they can be original.
17. You are having a colonial mentality if you would rather prefer a westerner of a lesser qualification to preside over your institution than a Tagalog or Igorot who is more qualified.
18. All your friends are foreigners because you don't deem any of your fellow Filipino worthy of sharing your 'secrets.' In fact, when you are in one of those western countries, you immediately dissociate yourself from any of your nationals there.
19. When in the midst of your foreign friends and they are making a mockery of your heritage, you keep quiet because you are afraid that if you voice out your concerns or make an effort to correct them, they may alienate you or term you as being sensitive.
20. In your definition of beauty, if people don't have pointed nose, grey hair, and blue eye like most Americans, they cannot be good looking.

Still On The Signs Of Having A Colonial Mentality

21. Rather than get one of the local dogs or other pets, you prefer to spend a huge amount of money to get the Siamese cat, Golden Retriever, British Short Hair, and the likes.
22. You have a colonial mentality if you would always go abroad for treating headache and other minor health issues that could have been ordinarily handled at home.
 23. You have a colonial mentality if you see closeness with a foreigner as a way of showing superiority or higher status to your fellow Filipinos. That is, you consider yourself to be superior to your compatriots because you know a few foreigners.
24. You accommodate some cramps from foreigner of which if the same were to be done to you by any of your relatives at home, you would express your displeasure or even put up a fight. No, you didn't keep quiet because you wanted peace; it's because you feel a westerner must have a reason for being rude and immodest to you.
25. It doesn't matter whether you know the meaning or not; you like to imitate everything done in the west. Somehow, you seem to believe that they should always set the pace while you can only follow.
26. Your cloth must be sewn in western style otherwise you won't consider it to be trendy. All the Filipino styles and costumes make no meaning to you except things are done in the white man way.
27. You are bent on changing your name to a western one because you don't consider the contemporary Filipino names such as Luzviminda, Tudtud, Isagani, and Bayani cute or smart enough.
28. Every time you pick up a Hollywood movie to watch and you see that black actor or actress, all you do is a laugh or make some catty remarks about them. To you, if anyone is dark-skinned, they are not a marriageable material to you.
29. You have a colonial mentality if you feel insulted when addressed as negro and if you feel like insulting others, you address them with the same word.
30. You have a colonial mentality if you place western superstitions above your confirmed mythology. In order words, you would rather believe what foreigners say you are than what your true history says.

Further Signs Of Colonial Mentality

31. You despise people with colored skin.
32. If it is not Brazillian or Japanese hair, it can never be good for you.
33. Traveling to Europe or America is one big goal for you, and if you haven't done that, you don't see yourself as being fulfilled in life.
34. Speaking your dialect has become a big issue for you, but you try day and night to learn a foreign language and even brag about it.
35. Once the news is broadcast on a foreign media outfit, it must be authentic and should not be questioned. However, if the same news were to broadcast on a local channel, you would be there to contest it. 36. It is what foreign validating bodies say about your people that you believe and not available facts on the ground. For instance, when development has just taken place in your country, you wait interminably on what the foreign bodies have to say on it before you can acknowledge something has happened.
37. You don't believe a white man or woman in your country should go through the normal treatment an average citizen of your country goes through. That is, you believe they deserve better even than yourself.
38. You have a colonial mentality if you are obsessed with making your skin white. In other words, you can go any length to bleach your colored skin.
39. Your parents' Filipino accent embarrasses you greatly.
40. You have a colonial mentality if your definition of a person being educated is their ability to operate technology.

More On Colonial Mentality Signs

41. It doesn't make any meaning to you that many of the Hollywood you love so much would not employ any of your Filipino's actors despite their brilliance.
42. It doesn't make any meaning to you that your nationals are deported from these foreign countries on frivolous grounds.
43. You defend statements and stands that are racially biased. 44. Your definition of being hospitable is to welcome foreigners (not your compatriots) with open hands.
45. If a person is not a Christian, to you, they can hardly be a good person.
46. To you, only foreigners can fix your country's problem.
47. You have a colonial mentality if you see the poor as being responsible for their problems and you even feel they are the reason behind your countries struggles.
48. You believe great things can only be done in the west. As such, when you hear groundbreaking research has been carried out in your ivory tower, you easily discard the notion.
49. Once an alleged report carries a foreign University's name or insignia, you don't think it has to be further investigated.
50. You are always praying for your children to study abroad even when from all indications there are equally good colleges around you locally.

Colonial Mentality Signs Contd.

51. To you, your Tagalog or Igorot friend who decides to settle for a locally made Bambini Cologne instead of Gucci Perfume made abroad is definitely not classy.
52. Unless a couple does the "white wedding," you don't consider them to have gotten married.
53. To you, life would have no meaning if not for the Whites.
54. Your definition of love is what you see foreign celebrities act out in their lives.
55. You praise foreign immoral practices such as being scantily dressed while you berate indigenous people for doing such. In other words, it is right once it is done by a foreigner.
56. You are having a colonial mentality if you constantly feel out of place amidst Europeans and other foreigners.
57. You allow your foreign spouse to dictate or determine everything that happens in your family because you are afraid that as a Filipino, you'll get things wrong.
58. You admit and accept bullyings and insults from westerners because to you, they must be right for doing so.
59. You don't see anything bad in the oppression of your own people by these foreigners you love so much. In fact, you find an excuse for the act. 60. You prefer foreign foods over locally prepared dishes for no reason other than the fact that they are foreign.

Final Thoughts

Having a colonial mentality has a lot of effects majority of which are negative. No culture, language, or creed is superior to another, and the belief that you are less of a human being because of your skin color is rather unfortunate. A way out is for government officials of the affected nations to promote their cultural values through their examples. They cannot continue to look to the west for everything while advocating that their people should value locally made things.