Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mountain schools, graduating as a "man"

I found myself in deep thoughts, odd years ago as a small boy yearning for acceptance and sense of belonging. My brother told me not to go as he won't be there to look after me for the whole month, he was just concerned as he had been there. Friends told me it was about time we also became men. It did make sense but I kept on asking the difference with circumcision performed at the doctor, the explanation provided was fit for decision making but not logic in the sense that I did not see the difference. I mean the results are the same. As at this time I did not know the teachings and other lessons I beam with pride when I think about them.

The fist two days were the hardest of them all, I regretted my choice immediately after admission. Amidst stats showing alarming death rate re the practice respected by many and practiced by few cultures, I survived in fact all graduated.

The ritual dates back many years ago. According to my sources, it was used not only as circumcision but an opportunity to teach and groom young men, knowledge and skills we also transferred. Preparation to fatherhood and responsibilities of a man in society. The amount of respect one is shown from the society post graduation is amazing so only a hand full don't practice or rather attend to this ritual.

Most of the points revealed through my sources were evident at my time of attending the ritual. I started understanding my actions and responsibilities also my say in society.

It was not easy though, there were days I missed home so much that I wanted to quit knowing very well its not acceptable. I remember one day asking my brother the ins and outs of back home, I could see he wanted to tell me but he could not due to the fact that I will end up crying and that would break him. The celebrations, songs were just awesome not to mention the fun I had with friends, I remember when we used to count weeks thereafter days, we would list all the girls we would like to go after as soon as we arrive at home.

The bird was free at last so was its wings, I was so colorful actually color blocked on the day of my graduation. Beads and my short were so nicely coordinated thanks to the elders. While being accepted back to the society as men with an end ceremony fit for a king; only a week long teachings at home then I was now ready.

How you view your culture and its rituals may not play an important role to everyone, however the most important thing its what you take from them and actually applying them. Yes, we can't look away when those that use the ritual as an excuse to make a quick buck, they have to be locked away, lives are lost in the process as a result reflecting bad to the ritual itself.
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