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Image by Kasturi Laxmi Mohit

They Tried to Bury Us But They Didnt Know That We Were Seeds

“Quisieron enterrarnos, pero se les olvido que somos semillas.” Translation: “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.”

 

Although, there are many loose iterations of the saying, with the most original being, “What didn’t you do to bury me but you forgot that I was a seed.” Even though some may attribute this to a Mexican saying, the actual quote originates from Dinos Christianopoulos, a Greek writer and poet during the late 1900s. 

Allegedly, these lines were addressed to the Greek literary community that had strongly criticized Christianopoulos’s poetry at the time. Be that as it may, the power of the couplet lies in its very capacity to put down roots and then to bloom worldwide, especially since its creator had barely ever left the Greek borders.


Meaning

The quote itself is a metaphor for oppressed-oppressor relations. The seeds represent the oppressed, and “they” represent the oppressors. 

It is easy to see why oppressors would try to bury the oppressed; it is a grab for power and a nod to the social and political hierarchy. But, like seeds, the oppressed will rise when buried.

In other words, oppressed activism cannot be suppressed because, like an unrelenting weed, it will return stronger and larger than ever.

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