The one word prompt for the 29th of November was ‘Culture’ a word which can mean a lot of different things like ‘ a particular civilization at a particular period’ or a development of understanding of arts. The one I chose to write about in this post is the one which relates to customs, traditions, ideas and rituals of a particular society.
I am an African which means my customs etc. are African
however people make a mistake of generalising thinking that all Africans share the same culture. There are things which are common among the peoples of the huge continent as reflected in the above photograph. Each of those nations which make up this beautiful continent have its unique customs, traditions ideas, rituals and a unique way of life.
I am a Zimbabwean African where many different sub cultures exist of the different tribes which make up the Zimbabwean nation with common threads which run through all the tribes. I am Shona so there are unique things about that tribe which distinguishes me from the other tribes. We have rituals for funerals, births and weddings which are uniquely Shona.
The rituals I enjoy sharing I find interesting to share are the rituals a girl performs a day after her wedding you do not go for your honey moon straight away you do not even share the same bed with your bed the first night of your marriage. The culture is at the end of the wedding reception the bride is accompanied a group of her relatives to the grooms family as reflected in the following photograph these are the people who she will spend the night with so that hey can help her to carry out all the rituals in the morning
like fetching water from the well and warming it up making sure all the grooms relatives have had a wash after that she will prepare meals to feed the whole clan including the neighbours. All these rituals will be carried out for the whole day when all the rituals are done the bride will then presented to her husband on the second night after their wedding. This ritual is to show the bride’s in-laws that the new daughter in law is capable of taking care of them. Throughout a girl’s up bringing she will be being prepared for being a good daughter in law the celebrations will also include the new daughter in law and helpers being given a lot of gifts which may include money to acknowledge all they will have done.
I shared this small ritual to show one out of the many things which make me who I am and what my culture is about.
This is a photograph of the relatives who accompanied my niece after she got married in May 2015 their dress is the kind they have to wear ready to go and do all that is expected of them. After that the accompanying group comes back to report back to the bride’s family how everything will have gone which is another celebration. The wedding celebration will last for a good week.
The daily prompt word is ‘Pensive’ according to Collins dictionary pensive means deeply thoughtful, often with sadness. As a Zimbabwean living in the diaspora as I do I am constantly in a pensive mood having deep thoughts about how once a very progressive and promising newly born nation got to where it is now where it is importing food from neighbouring Zambia.
Zimbabwe with its very favourable climatic conditions and its very hard working people is capable of feeding itself and have enough to export and enhance the standard of life for its people. So what is it that makes me reflect on my nation with a tinge of sadness. In 1980 the nation gained independence from Great Britain after a protracted liberation war and celebrated the opportunity of determining our own destiny.
Hopes of exercising rights of choosing where to live, where to go school etc. became a reality in 1980 for the first time we exercised the right to vote and put in place a government of our choice. A government at least we thought that would govern fairly and justly. Yet 36 years down the line things have turned for the worse that is the reason which make me think deeply with a tinge of sadness.
What distresses me is the failures of government to improving the lives of its people, the rights we thought we were fighting for like rights of freedom of speech they are practically non-existant, there is massive unemployment, families fail to get one descent meal a day, local authorities fail to provide basic services to just mention a few of heart breaking issues making me to be in a ‘pensive mode’
Each culture is unique and has its own unique things which distinguishes it from the other cultures. One of those things is food while each culture has its unique kind of food all cultures are united by the fact that we all need food to keep us alive.
It is interesting that in each culture there are some foods which other cultures may raise eyebrows at the thought of eating. I am sure each one who reads this post is aware of the times when you first experienced a different kind of food unique to a different culture and were not sure whether you wanted to have a go and try. Once you dared tried you discovered it was delicious. All I have said is an introduction to my photo for this week’s challenge:
Dinner time Zimbabwean style:
This is ‘sadza’ our stapple food made with maize meal served with ‘madhora’ (caterpillers) which according to the World Health Organisation has high protein content with no side effects and is affordable and very nutricious. ‘madhora’also serve as a laxative.
Zimbabwean seasons are described as dry and wet seasons: the dry season is between April to October which is the winter season and the wet season is between November and March which is the summer season.
During the month of November most cities are very colourful thanks to the flamboyant trees which line the streets, I have never known where these trees originated from all I know is they are a beautiful sight. Following is one of Harare’s street in early November:-
by the end of November all the tress are in full bloom colouring the streets red.
Zimbabwe in the past decade has been politically on the downward spiral slope, nothing seem to be going right, law and order is non existant because those who are suppose to maintain law and order are themselves the ones stirring up mayhem.
The one thing politicians can not do is to temper with the natural landscape, the natural beauty of the country has remained the same. The following photograph is the view you get when you approach the city of Mutare which is the third capital city in the Eastern district which is the most scenic district in the country. I took this photograph when I was home last May.
I thank God for the natural landscape which is the only thing to smile about in my native land.