Borrowed Culture: A Dangerous phenomenon
The word culture is definened in our dictionary
''Qaamuuska Af Soomaaliga'', as:
' Hab ama hidde lagu dhaqmo ama loo noolyahay oo
facba faca ka dambeeya ka dhaxlo'(1) , this can be
roughly translated to English as: ' A system or
heridity applied or lived by and generation inherits
from the one preceding it.'
I prefered our dictionary's definition over any other language dictionary
because it stems from our language, its closer to the understanding of our
people, and far from any ambiguity that surrounds when we other people's
language.More importantly it's our mother language which made possible for us to
understand complex thoughts and theories with ease.It's the one we can express
our ideas and feelings clearly.It's the one that carries our name: Af Soomaali.
It's the one that resisted and still resits the unabting attacks of the
assailant 'corruptors' but unjustly called as ' colonilalists'.
Distortnig words an using them to serve the interests of specific group is
not a new phenomenon. Look at these words and think a moment how they are used:
freedom , democracy, terrorists, militant and moderate , etc .
I think no one can deny that every nation has its own culture with which its
identified and differs from those of others.
The Culture is the way of life of a nation as it's clear from the defintion.
Parents tell and teach their children at an early stage the do's and dont's of
their culture, to keep the link of heredity uninterrupted and to intill their
culture in their children' minds.
In their formative years, children must be taught the sutleties of ther culture,
if this doesn't happen as when parents neglegt their responpiliy toward their
children, the children miss this important oppotunity and this does irreparable
damge to them which will haunt them throughout their life.There are some who get
the chance to learn their culture but for unknown reasons they don't like to
apply it, they borrow or import other cultures and turn blind eye to theirs.
This phenomenon is less dangerous when the victim is in his/her home country,
but it becomes extremely dangerous when they live in another which they adopt as
their own a. As every nation has its established culture these subjects - always
youngesters but sometimes with their parents- desparately try to immitate the
culture of teir adopted counrty. But one thing they forget here is that
immitation is immitation and will never turn into a genuine thing. As we all
know copied or immitated things have no value and worse still are illegal.
There's nothing wrong with the culture that these people adopt as long as it's
used by it's people, but the fault is with the borrowers who deserted their
culture and the one they borrowed or imported can't replace it, because as we
mentioned already it's a copy. The language, one of the greatest pillars of
culture suffers the most. They intentionally degrade their mother language
either by not learning it and then using it properly or comletely ignoring it by
opting to foreign language. If you ask these people why they don't use their
mother language? They say, ' I like to speak it but..... but.....' They are
really lying. They don't like it because one who likes a thing likes always to
be associated with it. How can they claim we like it when they dumped it?. This
group rather than being proud of their culture they belittle it and see it as if
it were a taboo they have nothing to do with but shun it. They consider it as
outdated and backwarded while eulogizing blindly alien cultures by telling us
that those aline cultures are 'civilized' and 'refined' ! Maybe they are
influenced by the phenomenon of 'distort words and use them your own way
arbitrarily' that we have mentioned before. the question I would like ask them
is, ' How can you judge between the culture when you don't have none of your
I think their weak judgment is nothing but like shameless blind who tells us
in the night that he can see the moon.
All these problems can be avoided or at least reverted if the parents act wisely
and take their responsiblity.Parents must teach their children their religion,
language , and their culture. Make them love their religion , people country and
language. If you do these you don' have to worry about your offsbrings falling
into the category of 'Culture borrowers'. Who have lost their bearings or as we
say in our laguage ' kuwa dayoobay ama jihadii ka luntay.'
(1) 1st Ed., 1976 , By Yaasiin C. Keenadiid.
Faafin: SomaliTalk.com | April 27, 2008