Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nyang  Ye de Chaa, it a parlance most often used on foreigners for their reckless behaviors in  foreign land like the Anyuakland, especially this parlance is used on strangers unaware of the local environment they had to encounter, whose missions sometimes were cut short by tragedies, deaths.

  Sorry if you are not Gambellan, but this how things have been described here. You must know what I am talking about if not you can learn from story I am about to say. I happened to recollect some local stories the other days, thought I should write this one down just for the fun of it, the memory it.  Two political scientists, MARINA  OTTWAY,  DORIS LESSING who have written many short stories about Africa, died recently due to her poor health; both described the important many oral stories in Africa, in which they say the African writers must be encourage to write down all those beautiful stories told, narrated by the local people wherever they live.

I guess they were right, it was only writer like Chinua Achebe, other few African writers that found vest golden opportunities, plunged their hands into many ocean stories. On top of that they taped the running fountain stories to their advantages.  To date my friends the story of "selective killer crocodile" was not told through writings.

There were stories is like this one unknown even by the people who lived their life here for years. I tend not to believe it but I am only human, I for sure believe it now. It is True. I can not convince you but believe it or not to date with all the people killed by crocodile in Gmablella at open’s river for years, not a single one of them was a native born Gambellans. Here when I say a native born Gambellan I am not talking about the indigenous tribes but I am talking about anyone born, raised in Gambella, I called him/she as a native of Gambella.  

There was a sad story an American tourists who just jumped in to Openo River 45 years ago to swim but fell into the mouth of a waiting crocodile devoured him to death.  After police was reached, they arrived on the scene late hours later. The chase to kill the crocodile was n’t easy either. The Giant beast was running into a deep water, avoided detection which took police and volunteer resident of the town hours before could caught up with it . But finally they caught up with it, with many motor boats, canoes in the river that day it was not easy for the crocodile escaping. Finally the giant beast was killed, later a watch was recovered on the mutilated hand of the deceased found in the stomach of the crocodile, unspoiled, running. The Anyuak called it “Nyang ye dechaa.

It story was a tragic, sad but true. Such incidents could have been avoided, But how? The answer is by interacting with locals, by asking relevant information.  I can explain: facts  local people are familiar with their own backyards.  They know exactly where to swim, where not swim. They know how where normal, danger currents of the river went. Finally they know about all the species living around them, it is important. They hold very priceless important information which most often they have been ignored by newcomers, passer strangers, tourists in to their state. 

Whatever tragedies that happened, to people who came here happened because there was disregard to disseminate accurate information to the strangers, they had done so it could have saved innocent lives. In other word the use of common sense to communicate stories by the local had also failed miserably.     

Bu come to think of it; the strangers also bear the blames because how can they go somewhere, where they don’t belong acted like they were from the local areas. What have they been thinking? It helps someone learn a little bit about wherever they go, it matters.  Whatever death, happening every times there was visiting tourists in our land was attributed the lack information from being recycle around by the locals, it had a damaging consequences, projecting bad images about the local natural environment, which can instill fear in the heart of tourists, restrained themselves from visiting the state. 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

No Culture Is Pure: We are all Borrowers, and Stealers.






No culture is pure, whether one is living in the high culture or low culture. We are all borrowers, stealers of each other’s images  to enhance our own. Look at the Anyuawa language today, compare it to Anyuawa language of 30 or 40 years ago one would be astonished to see that the Anyuawa language has been diluted,  infused, mixed with a lot foreign words twisted and adopted to fit, spoken like the Anyuawa words. True, I am not exaggerating. I am not kidding.
If you were new to what I am talking about check with the lyrics of the contemporary urban Anyuwa dance songs; my friend be my guest. My friends you would be amazed, sometimes confused by some word thrown at you by the singer singing in the Anyuwa language, with blended Arabic, Amharic, Oromo, Nuer Tigrignya words twisted, punctured, fractured, reassembled, sang as Anyuawa words, and with lovely tunes. 

 But as has been said all cultures have been borrowed, stolen since the  time of immemorial, they were for good; for treatments of one another. I came to realized that everything we see here in the west as in the form of arts are stolen third world indigenous cultural properties, god know how they ended up in the west, resold in the form western arts images, designs.

No wonder we had many anthropologists, sociologists, religious missionaries in our midst camouflaged as innocent they can be, they have been extracting indigenous livings since day one they had contacted the third world people. In my book indigenous arts were stolen, copycatted for consumptions, for use of commercial in the western world. I came to think that we have nothing left unearth, from the people of the third world global sphere. Third world cultures has been hijacked specially by high tech culture societies.  Have been to the mall lately? Be my guest, worry not by what you see.

Well you would be surprised by the displays of various forms clothing, third world types jewelers, lather bags deigned that look like they were from your neck of the wood. I recently ordered Timbuktu messenger bag, the exact replica one would find somewhere in the Malian countryside worn by the indigenous people of that areas. Now there is a company called   "Timbuktu" designing these sorts bags in the USA based California. What about the hair does, with many of them resembling indigenous African styles sometimes.

Of course as I said in the above paragraphs, I think one see these kinds blossoming arts anywhere in the western world, they were various cultures, stolen indigenous cultural properties, without doubt owned by commercial world, commercialized, monopolized with tight grip, resoled marketed by multinational corporations abroad to the people who originally own those items of arts. One wonders not really about what’s going. But one can regrets but must accept the objective reality very much so even though with disappointment about the whole saga.


But cultural life styles also can be borrowed adopted willingly for good things to happened, cement the social ties: be it wedding anniversary, or newlywed party, or valentine days celebrations, dating or courting  women, or the celebration of the valentine days to enhance or improve our connections, accommodate and bow to each other for the continuation of a healthy marriages, which I fined as imperative, also important; as ingredient for social cohesion.

 These couples here renewed their ten years anniversary with diamond rings.  

If one tells me 30 years ago that such, such persons were going rekindle their 5th or ten years next week, that I should come, celebrate happy -happy time with them.  I would had told them are you out of your minds what kind of nonsense is that? I would had told them straight, look I am an Anyuawa, according to my culture I can marry as much women as I can, so which woman should I pick among many I am going to marry, celebrate her love wedding anniversary with me. The answer would had been none.








But things have changed for the better for many diasporas Anyuawa here in the USA. Just about three weeks ago, in mass many of them celebrated in spectacular, colorfully, with extravaganza 10years wedding anniversary. It has been funfair for the participants, a talk of the towns for the Anyuawa community in the US. I wasn’t there due my sickness but I am told by the architects of the party in charge that it was remarkably celebrated with a lot of festive food, drinks, followed by traditional Anyuawa cultural items displays, shows, and dance, and singings. 





Wedding anniversary celebrated with extravaganza


Boy; I wish I was there but I still enjoy the news of peaceful party with the end results: unity, togetherness, harmony and peace.  As long we are still living in America there are good things to be borrowed from the multicultural society; such as wedding anniversary, valentine day etc.. We must acculturate our self with the new phenomena, but cautiously. Nonetheless; there are also bad things we should be aware not borrow at all. We should be rejecting them as we live without hesitations without compromising our culture.   
Friends were happy with  the ceremony

 

 
By Amhare Gilo, he can be reached at amhareo@yahoo.com