Friday, September 22, 2017

Strained Customs

This weekend, I am following what is surely a custom in all cultures. We are laying a mother to rest. Unless something is definitely wrong, or seriously preventing it, a child attends a mother’s funeral. But in the Xhosa culture (as is the case here), there are significant differences. My wife E has, or has had, I would estimate twenty mothers -- called mama or mama mncimnci. Now consider that, a generation ago, mothers and children would likely have lived in close proximity. But through one generation, children have in many cases been scattered over hundreds of miles. As a generation now passes away, one has the loss of a large number of mothers, with great distances to be travelled. Not to speak of fathers -- called tata or tata mncimnci. The customs, I think, are under strain.

No comments: