Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lost and found

Knowing me is such a simple thing. All you need to know is that I don't like to be judged before I'm understood. "You've lost your culture," said a friend to me the other day as if my culture is some thing I've been caring in my hand and showing off and now I've lost it somewhere never to be found by me again. My response was simple, "I'm sorry my friend, but we're more alike than you think. Just because I speak English doesn't mean I've forgotten my roots or even aspect of who I am. I don't think you have either. My life needs no evaluation from you, thank you very much..." This response of course, happened in my head. I understand anyone who can't believe I didn't say what was on my mind. I don't think my friend was in a place to discuss this opinion of his and I pray one day to have a talk where I can be me without having to first change the perspective of who he thinks he's talking to.

What upsets me the most is how he thinks he has so much more insight into my life than I do. Does he know my culture and what it's about? Has he spent time gathering information on what it means to be Tswana in the 21st century? Has he sat down and tried to understand me and my upbringing along with my trails, tribulations and victories? Has he tried to see what else lies behind this coconut accent and model c schooling? Has he tried to understand the awe I have for my parents and their struggle to free their daughters from the bondage that comes with some of this culture that "I've lost"? The answer to these questions is simply, No, and obviously I have a lot to take up with my friend.

The question the rest of the world is left with is simply, what are individuals doing to understand their friends better before assuming anything about who they are or what they've lost? Think about it, there's a lot to learn.

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