finding my culture...finding myself!
i know we've all seen this video one too many times. but i had to put it up here.
i'm embarrassed that shes trying so desperately to hold on to her culture, while we are desperate to let go of this culture that is a definition of who we are, what we're about.
slowly we're been drawn away from our mother tongue/culture by the borrowed culture of the west, it don't matter that we dwell in our motherland...we still stretch out as far as we can to grasp that culture, the language,, the food, the dressing, the songs, the attitude....thus becoming Different people with different beliefs and values(as held by our fathers), different yearnings and hopes and dreams(dont get me wrong, sometimes this is a good thing)
but seriously, what do we teach our children? would our culture be extinct in their generation? would they suffer what i suffered as a child, not being able to communicate with my grandma, seating and staring at her, wanting to say so much, but limited by the barricade built by my lost culture, the inability to speak my mother tongue.
i enjoy her tastefully cooked meals, but how do i get the recipes from her, those details that make it different from the rest? how do i tell her how her food gives me this euphoria even chocolates have failed to achieve? when i can only so much as speak brokenly to her in words as simple as 'come, go, me, you, goodnight, thankyou, good morning' i understand her to an extent...brokenly too as i pick out words 'how are you, food, come, go, no, thankyou'
what are the stories dwelling in her? waiting to be passed into my ready ears, stories of life lessons that'd save me from situations where i'm left wondering? lessons that a mother cant break down properly, only a grandmother can tell it right? stories of her mother my great-grandma and how she raised her to become a strong beautiful woman that she is....
all these stumbles when we've never been permanently removed from her grasp by the big iron bird....as it always brings us back to her whenever and wherever it takes us to, or have we been removed from her grasp by the foreign tongue we tsk at her? is she just satisfied to have our hugs, at least its a mutual language of 'i love you'
how frustrated does she feel when she speaks and her great-grand kids just hug her, give her a peak and run off to play, having no idea that she's asking them how they're doing?
yes, my kids would have it good, because my mother would sing them lullabies, she'll whisper stories in their ears as their eyes fall asleep...all in the foreign mans tongue(that's if they havent adopted french or chinese as the new IT language of their time, and thus be at a loss with their granma like i was)
would our children ever experience the moonlight stories narrated in the folk tongue and all those folk songs(well,maybe most of us didn't, but then that's just how much we've missed)
with inter-tribal marriages reigning. me being a product of one of such mix, you'd imagine that the richness of culture i posses would be so refined i'd be a posh multi lingual cultured girl. how shameful that the opposite is the case for me and loads of others like me. i'm not disputing the western culture..no, its wonderful, its given us bacon, and chocolates,and burgers and cashmere and those beautiful gadgets and jimmy choos and Louis vuitton and vogue and french kiss and.........but like Magaret mead the American anthropologist pointed ...
As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate lovingly, our ownso true, we should experience other cultures, but be careful not to loose ourselves in its deepness, stay shallow enough so we can easily drift back to the culture that defines our beings.
bassey ikpi despict's a lost child craving for the culture of her fatherland. hopefully someday soon enough, we'd realize how special our culture is, and run back to hug it close....