Even though where Mekkar lived was not officially considered a town by designation of the national government, he still referred to it as his home town. The country standard for a town was 5,000 or more inhabitants and it wasn’t the case unless you included all the people in the adjoining village across the river and tourists that seemed to Mekkar to visit at all times of the year. Mekkar’s village still had a special significance as a reindeer herding district and gave the natives who lived there, like Mekkar’s family, a few special privileges since they were nomadic in earlier times. Mekkar thought about this and as he got older, he grew more aware about what he called “the guilt makeup” for past poor treatment of natives and exploitation of the native area use lands by some in authority on behalf of the nation.
Mekkar wondered why various distinctions were made regarding minority peoples within a country by the government overlords posing as beneficiaries on their behalf and rights; Plus, Mekkar noticed that his neighbors didn’t trust these outsiders. He felt it was only a matter of time before those same nation-state overlords would start to take away those native rights little-by-little until they were all gone in the future. Even though those individuals and their representatives in charge of the nation had never understood nor lived in the far north, they also had no concept of how their decisions affected how to make a living in that environment. Yet, they passed rules, regulations, and laws that favored everyone else in the region except the natives. In Mekkar’s mind, it seemed that those officials wanted to totally destroy the native way of life while at the same time force the native peoples there to give up their cultural identity on an individual and collective basis. Mekkar saw it as an agenda to setup the circumstances to force them to leave the area also. Then, the overlords and their captains of industry could ramp up their ultimate plan to take over everything there and greatly increase natural resource exploitation like they have done to other native peoples around the globe. [Wikipedia; utexas.edu – gaski-newera.htm]
Even though, from an outsider’s point of view, there seems to be limitations on the number of fun activities available to arctic children. Especially during wintertime, there is more than meets the eye. Fun, recreation, and activity was not restricted to usual associated pursuits such as reindeer herding, skiing, skating, and fishing. Mainly because of the creativity and ingenuity of the natives themselves, modification and invention was rampant for playtime. For instance, there were games out of the frozen lake ice such as King of the Ice, where everyone would be pitted against everyone else. If any part of the body was pushed off the ice surface onto the snow, in any manner, that participant would be out of the game until the group had a winner and began another new round of the game. This game taught speed, agility, maneuverability, dodging, and avoidance skills.
What would tick Mekkar off would be when a small group would attempt to remove him from the ice because he got pretty good at sticking around toward the end most of the time. He had a knack for being crowned King of the Ice on a regular basis. His competitiveness meant he just hated to lose at anything and helped him in these children’s games. To keep all of the children involved, every so often the group leaders, some of the older kids, would decide that every one, especially the less athletic kids, would be victorious and let them win at this game in rotating intervals. In the long run, everyone would continue in the activity and it made it more fun for everyone. However, this still frustrated Mekkar because of his super competitiveness and he always liked to win.
The added benefit was that the winner gained a prize which was provided by the rest of the losing group. The reward was a treat like ice cream or pizza or could be a service rendered such as doing the winner’s chores for a day. Mekkar knew it was beneficial to give everyone an opportunity to taste victory in the overall scope of things; however he really hated to lose at anything, anytime, or to anyone. Mekkar was not a person to just let you win because he felt that if you beat him in any manner you should have to earn it. Otherwise, it gives a person a false sense of confidence as well as hinders a person’s character development because in his mind you cheat yourself. He knows that the world outside doesn’t just let people win. Mekkar has done his share of travelling to come to this conclusion, and in his opinion, through a lot of observation of other people on his part.
Mekkar believes to defeat him meant that his opponent was better prepared that time and in that instance than he was. Mekkar was rare, in the fact, that he outright disregarded the new modern world court of opinion aspect until he was forced to accept it, in some form, by the majority. Suffering defeat would make Mekkar even more determined; some would classify it as plain old stubbornness, than before to win the next time. This did show up as a type of ruthlessness in Mekkar’s character. To Mekkar, losing is worse than dying and to him winning is everything and defeat should be eliminated. Maybe it was a survival mechanism for Mekkar instilled at birth or a trait that would be needed for later in life. Either way, he was unsure why this very different mindset existed.
To the Native from the North, every little thing added together are examples of past, ongoing, and future trends in his life. Like a person forecasting the weather or a particular stock from the market and then basing a specific future outcome from those indicators. That is how Mekkar determined some certainty in his mind from the environment around him. That is partially how Mekkar looked at the world and that would help develop his beliefs and convictions. Deep determination is a very strong internal trait that has always driven Mekkar to excel in his life.