Friday, August 29, 2008
The ultimate romance
While in college I attended a course on intercultural communication and Dr. Marete, who was the course instructor talked about the various cultural interpretations about romance and how we define who knows how to love and who doesn’t.
The world has become so westernized that romance is defined by how many times you say “I love you”, the exotic dinners and the flowers one sends or receives. So he talked about the traditional African culture and the definition of romance.
Ever heard of stories that men batter women because they love them? That an African woman is considered weak if he tells a woman he loves her? That land and children is all that a woman needs to know she is loved? Well those are stories that have been watered down over time.
When I went to Magadi last week, I met Elijah, a Maasai guy. He had a walking stick and I thought it was for older guys, so I asked him why he was carrying it and he said it was because it was made by the wife.
I enquired how long it takes to make the stick embossed with colorful beads and decorates. It takes not less than two days. That’s the sign of love from his wife, and he treasures it, he won’t even sell it at any price.
In return, Elijah is the warrior in the family, the guy who ensured that the hyenas and lions do not get away with any of the cows or livestock. That rule is not written anywhere but everyone knows it.
The encounter with Elijah made me wonder why that cannot be defined as the ultimate romance; the sign of dedication and love.
It is cultural and it is how we communicate it, I thought it was very touching…..
Posted by REBECCA WANJIKU at 4:44 pm