Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Culture in another perspective

What is culture? Many people think it deals with the old artifact in the museum around the world, but that is not the truth, in other words culture is a way of life. For example we have the family culture, food and culture, color and culture, music culture and many more that relates to it.

On the other hand culture is also the way we used to do things (past) and also how we currently ran our daily tasks (present). Have you ever think about this question, how many languages and tribes are there is this world? Even me I do not know, but I guess there are many more than a thousand! My message to the world is that let us embrace our cultures and not use them against each other. Here I am directly talking about tribes and languages that exist to bring us together as one people, one nation and one world, and not to divide us. I will have to do a research on the Internet which is a global village to find answers for almost any question.

There is this common language amongst the youth, I guess it’s everywhere you go in this world and one day you will come across it if you have not and it's so unlikely that where you live it is not used. The ‘sheng’ or slang culture which is the act of mixing two or even more languages while conversing or even coming up with your own words to express something.

What I like about slang is, it makes someone unique and it’s a form of identity or trend like fashion which cuts across different age groups. The older generation also uses it a lot especially is major towns and this depends with where you live.

When the older generation uses the language they feel somehow associated with the younger generation and they feel young at heart and spirit, if that is not the case I stand to be corrected. As rule of the thumb everything has got its own pro and cons, and the only disadvantage of this slang culture is, if it is not controlled and checked it can destroy ones culture of the formal languages. Even worse it can run into even formal meetings or even the education systems, Imagine your president speaking slang while addressing a formal meeting, that would be really funny, but I know some politicians who have used it as an associative method to reach the youth during public rallies and it really works for them.

Nevertheless I can term it to be a creative language. During one conversation with friends here in Zanzibar which is world known for good Swahili, I also found the slang cultures having its roots with youth. Here are some of my findings, go always for good words...

Greetings; Mzuka, Shega, bomba. shwanga! = good
Units: 100; 200; 500; 1000; 10,000; 100,000
Zanzibar slang: Jiti, Bati, Jero, Buku, Msimbazi, Kilo
Nairobi slang: Soo, Ruabe, Ngiri, Thao kumi, Ngiri soo
Kiswahili: Mia moja, Mia mbili, Mia tano, Elfu, Elfu kumi, Laki moja

These are just a few to illustrate how interesting this can go and also looking at different youth culture. The other amazing thing with naming and conversation depends with your neighborhood or the community one comes from.

Have a look at this again, In African tradition and heritage naming a child is a big deal and I guess this goes as far as Mongolia and the entire world. I will give an example of my name Masaka which was given to me by my parents with a particular reason in mind which can either be a season, a name of a hero etc, I will have to find this out. Anyway what I want to refer here is how one word can be used by different communities or a culture to mean different things. My second name Masaka, in Uganda it is a city, In Japan we have Osaka which is also a city but not exactly as my name but somehow almost there. Funny! I’m yet to find what it means in China or any African states and other places in the world.

Finally some words in other cultures can be taken to be ‘normal’ when used, but the truth is that this kind of language can cause you a fortune like losing your job, relationship breakups etc. No need of giving examples basically watch what you consume especially in this era of ICT and multimedia, always take what is good for you and leave the rest.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eid el fitri in Zanzibar

If you were in Zanzibar I hope you had an experience of a life time and if you missed it there’s always next time. As part my mission and passion to learn, share and explore other cultures, I had the most amazing opportunity to explore more about the culture in Zanzibar during Eid celebrations.

There was a lot in the offering; food, music, fashion, games just to mention but a few. I couldn't imagine it was going to be like this and to make it even more exciting it was for four days. Every where was packed to capacity which reminds me of Obama’s inauguration which found me in Kenya where I saw crowds of people united in celebrations..... Different cultures, one people, one world!

Wilsen-x; Peace...

Forodhani Zanzibar for food, drinks etc.

Entertainment at one of the events ( don't try this eeeh). This was really amazing!

ooh! this is familiar for football lovers like me here is something I spotted have a look..

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Similarity of Zanzibar and Mihuru - bay

Mihuru bay is my 'ocha' In Kenya. here in Zanzibar they will called it 'shamba' or in other words upcountry where I leave together with my extended families and relatives. On my trip to Kenya I got to visit and with my camera I was on a learning expedition to spot on how we can make the place a tourist destination, what similarity with Zanzibar, what about the people, anything unique? etc. As someone said, pictures speaks a thousand words...

Other mode of transport...



Fishing net. Measurement counts!





Solid rocks...

Dish rack...

Where next?...