Changing The World Through Journalism

Global Press Institute

Posts tagged Culture

14 notes


Cameroon Takes Strides to Empower Widows, Eliminate Traditional Rituals

Widows in Cameroon say that in addition to dealing with the grief of losing their partners, they must also endure inhumane treatment from in-laws in a series of rituals after the death of a husband. The government and nongovernmental organizations are expanding efforts to address widows’ rights in light of International Widows’ Day, commemorated for the first time this year.
DOUALA, CAMEROON – Margeret Tarla, a mother of four, says her father married her off to his friend before she turned 16. She became the second of the man’s five wives.

Tarla, who lives in Douala, Cameroon’s largest city and the capital of Littoral province, became a widow almost a year ago. She says that after her husband died, she and the other wives were forced to undergo inhumane traditional widowhood rites in the husband’s village.

The wives had to sit on dried plantain leaves for three days and could only eat food served on leaves by a virgin. After three days on the floor, they had to bathe with a concoction of water and other substances, which, according to their husband’s tribe, cleansed them from the bad luck accrued by their intimate relations with their husband. They also had to shave their heads, arms and private parts.

“We go to the stream with a basket,” Tarla says, describing another ritual. “And, after a bath, any widow who does not pass out urine is considered to have a hand in her husband’s death!”

On their way back from the stream, they had to cut down bamboo sticks to symbolize the food they were expected to bring home with them. They were not allowed to look behind them.

“The next day, we move round the market square in line, according to our position in the polygamous marriage,” she says.

Widows here also have to wear a black or white sackcloth for the traditional year of mourning, but Tarla says this is not considered as important as the other rites they went through.

Tarla says the rites were inhumane.

“The rites are so inhumane, such that one would not want her daughter to marry into a tribe with such customs,” she says.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/cameroon/cameroon-takes-strides-empower-widows-eliminate-traditional-rituals#ixzz1UhWD7CDx

Cameroon Takes Strides to Empower Widows, Eliminate Traditional Rituals

Widows in Cameroon say that in addition to dealing with the grief of losing their partners, they must also endure inhumane treatment from in-laws in a series of rituals after the death of a husband. The government and nongovernmental organizations are expanding efforts to address widows’ rights in light of International Widows’ Day, commemorated for the first time this year.

DOUALA, CAMEROON – Margeret Tarla, a mother of four, says her father married her off to his friend before she turned 16. She became the second of the man’s five wives.


Tarla, who lives in Douala, Cameroon’s largest city and the capital of Littoral province, became a widow almost a year ago. She says that after her husband died, she and the other wives were forced to undergo inhumane traditional widowhood rites in the husband’s village.


The wives had to sit on dried plantain leaves for three days and could only eat food served on leaves by a virgin. After three days on the floor, they had to bathe with a concoction of water and other substances, which, according to their husband’s tribe, cleansed them from the bad luck accrued by their intimate relations with their husband. They also had to shave their heads, arms and private parts.


“We go to the stream with a basket,” Tarla says, describing another ritual. “And, after a bath, any widow who does not pass out urine is considered to have a hand in her husband’s death!”


On their way back from the stream, they had to cut down bamboo sticks to symbolize the food they were expected to bring home with them. They were not allowed to look behind them.


“The next day, we move round the market square in line, according to our position in the polygamous marriage,” she says.


Widows here also have to wear a black or white sackcloth for the traditional year of mourning, but Tarla says this is not considered as important as the other rites they went through.


Tarla says the rites were inhumane.


“The rites are so inhumane, such that one would not want her daughter to marry into a tribe with such customs,” she says.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/cameroon/cameroon-takes-strides-empower-widows-eliminate-traditional-rituals#ixzz1UhWD7CDx

Filed under Camaroon Gender Justice Culture Tradition Widows Ritual

1 note

Buddhist Temple Workers Can’t Afford Worship in Sri Lanka
Temple workers spend up to 12 hours a day selling flowers, oils and other items used for worship at a popular Buddhist temple here. But temple workers say they are excluded from the worshipping themselves because they can’t afford to take time off work, thanks to low wages and hefty rent paid to the temple.

KELANIYA, SRI LANKA – Nilantha Dias and his father operate a flower boutique in Kelaniya, a small town near Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. The shop, which specializes in flowers and other items used for worship, is one of 11 boutiques that belong to the much revered Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple here.

Said to have been made holy by a visit from Lord Buddha, the temple is one of the most ancient and sacred worshipping places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is situated along the Kelani River, six miles from Colombo. According to the Mahavamsa, a historical poem detailing Sri Lanka’s founding, Lord Buddha visited this ancient temple during his visit to Sri Lanka in 523 B.C.

While Buddhists used to worship at the temple every day of the year, today worshippers and pilgrims crowd the temple mostly on Saturdays, Sundays and Poya Days – Buddhist public holidays that occur during the full moon.

The 11 small boutiques that belong to the temple sell items used for worship – including flowers, coconut oil, oil lamps and sandalwood sticks – to worshippers and pilgrims. Ten boutiques are situated close to the temple parking lot, while one boutique stands near the temple’s front entrance. Eleven different businessmen run the boutiques, with each paying weekly rent to the temple.
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/sri-lanka/buddhist-temple-workers-can’t-afford-worship-sri-lanka#ixzz1TqfmnPpP

Buddhist Temple Workers Can’t Afford Worship in Sri Lanka

Temple workers spend up to 12 hours a day selling flowers, oils and other items used for worship at a popular Buddhist temple here. But temple workers say they are excluded from the worshipping themselves because they can’t afford to take time off work, thanks to low wages and hefty rent paid to the temple.

KELANIYA, SRI LANKA – Nilantha Dias and his father operate a flower boutique in Kelaniya, a small town near Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. The shop, which specializes in flowers and other items used for worship, is one of 11 boutiques that belong to the much revered Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple here.


Said to have been made holy by a visit from Lord Buddha, the temple is one of the most ancient and sacred worshipping places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is situated along the Kelani River, six miles from Colombo. According to the Mahavamsa, a historical poem detailing Sri Lanka’s founding, Lord Buddha visited this ancient temple during his visit to Sri Lanka in 523 B.C.


While Buddhists used to worship at the temple every day of the year, today worshippers and pilgrims crowd the temple mostly on Saturdays, Sundays and Poya Days – Buddhist public holidays that occur during the full moon.


The 11 small boutiques that belong to the temple sell items used for worship – including flowers, coconut oil, oil lamps and sandalwood sticks – to worshippers and pilgrims. Ten boutiques are situated close to the temple parking lot, while one boutique stands near the temple’s front entrance. Eleven different businessmen run the boutiques, with each paying weekly rent to the temple.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/asia/sri-lanka/buddhist-temple-workers-can’t-afford-worship-sri-lanka#ixzz1TqfmnPpP

Filed under Culture Economy Poverty Religion

1 note

In the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, the coffee is roasted, ground and served in front of special guests. The ceremony is such a sacred tradition that Ethiopians living in Kenya, who make their own coffee instead of drinking local brews, perform it for their families and guests to stay connected to their roots.


NAIROBI, KENYA  – Woizero Isul, 31, is a housewife from Ethiopia who lives with her husband and two children in one room in a large, modern flat in Kilimani, a leafy green suburb of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. She says they plan to live in Kenya for five years before moving to Germany to join relatives who live there.
 
Isul barely speaks English, so her husband of seven years, who easily communicates in English, gladly agrees to translate.
 
“There are lots of Ethiopians living in this community,” she says. “They all seem to concentrate in this neighborhood, possibly why we have several Ethiopian shops, orthodox churches and restaurants such as the most popular, Habesha.”
 
Many Ethiopians who visit Kenya say that Habesha meals remind them of home because it serves “injera,” an Ethiopian staple food similar to flatbread.
 
She says that the house her family lives in has five bedrooms, but because of the high cost of living in a foreign country, she and her spouse pay partial rent for one of the bedrooms. The other four bedrooms and living room are rented by other Ethiopians or Eritreans. They share a common bathroom, toilet and kitchen area.
 
“It’s cheaper this way,” says Woizero Isul’s husband, Isul Bekele Sr., 34. “We would rather share a house with friends and family than live in the slums of Nairobi. We get additional help from our relatives now living abroad. We hope to join them in the near future.”
Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/kenya/ethiopians-kenya-savor-their-roots-coffee-ceremony#ixzz1SdSANhDA

In the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, the coffee is roasted, ground and served in front of special guests. The ceremony is such a sacred tradition that Ethiopians living in Kenya, who make their own coffee instead of drinking local brews, perform it for their families and guests to stay connected to their roots.



NAIROBI, KENYA  – Woizero Isul, 31, is a housewife from Ethiopia who lives with her husband and two children in one room in a large, modern flat in Kilimani, a leafy green suburb of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. She says they plan to live in Kenya for five years before moving to Germany to join relatives who live there.

 

Isul barely speaks English, so her husband of seven years, who easily communicates in English, gladly agrees to translate.

 

“There are lots of Ethiopians living in this community,” she says. “They all seem to concentrate in this neighborhood, possibly why we have several Ethiopian shops, orthodox churches and restaurants such as the most popular, Habesha.”

 

Many Ethiopians who visit Kenya say that Habesha meals remind them of home because it serves “injera,” an Ethiopian staple food similar to flatbread.

 

She says that the house her family lives in has five bedrooms, but because of the high cost of living in a foreign country, she and her spouse pay partial rent for one of the bedrooms. The other four bedrooms and living room are rented by other Ethiopians or Eritreans. They share a common bathroom, toilet and kitchen area.

 

“It’s cheaper this way,” says Woizero Isul’s husband, Isul Bekele Sr., 34. “We would rather share a house with friends and family than live in the slums of Nairobi. We get additional help from our relatives now living abroad. We hope to join them in the near future.”



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/kenya/ethiopians-kenya-savor-their-roots-coffee-ceremony#ixzz1SdSANhDA

Filed under Ethiopia Kenya Coffee Culture

0 notes


Breast Ironing Affects One in Four Girls in Cameroon
The practice of “breast ironing” – described as brutal by many young girls here – is on the rise in Cameroon. The procedure involves flattening young girl’s growing breasts with hot stones in order to curb the country’s skyrocketing teen pregnancy rate. In rural areas, young girls also report frequent sexual assaults. Still, advocates say breast ironing is an inappropriate solution to both problems: A News Video.Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/cameroon/breast-ironing-affects-one-four-girls-cameroon#ixzz1QUKsnhZD

Breast Ironing Affects One in Four Girls in Cameroon


The practice of “breast ironing” – described as brutal by many young girls here – is on the rise in Cameroon. The procedure involves flattening young girl’s growing breasts with hot stones in order to curb the country’s skyrocketing teen pregnancy rate. In rural areas, young girls also report frequent sexual assaults. Still, advocates say breast ironing is an inappropriate solution to both problems: A News Video.

Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/africa/cameroon/breast-ironing-affects-one-four-girls-cameroon#ixzz1QUKsnhZD

Filed under Gender Justice Breast Cancer Health Community Culture