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Africa And Scars

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Scarification has a deep African history. There were a lot of associated reasons, values and implications to scarification in the olden days. Although it has become drastically unpopular, some people still choose to carry the marks of their ancestors more so without proper knowledge.

In Benin republic, West Africa, among the Houeda ethnic people, there is a popular belief that the scarification of children would create a connection with them and their ancestors. After the scars are done on their faces, they are given new names, have their hairs shaved off before they are led to an oracle whose job is to help them communicate with previous generations.

In most tribes in the western region of Africa, scarification plays an important role in gender identity and sexual expression. The scars are seen as beautiful elements of attraction. They are believed to enhance one’s features in order to stimulate and attract potential sexual partners. This is common among the people of Tiv in Nigeria. These people also believe that merely touching the scars can induce strong erotic feelings in both men and women.

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Africa And Scars

A Sudanese man. Photo Neur Man

Again, scarification is seen as a sign of dignity and social status. Back in the day, warriors would scar their bodies to show that they have successfully killed someone from an enemy tribe or better still, won a battle. Another is after a strenuous yet successful hunting. This is basically because they all signify bravery and strength, which in turn commands respect.

A woman with extensive scars is then perceived as strong and resilient to go through the pains of childbirth.

The process of scarification, on the other hand, is painful no matter how it is carried out. One common way is by cutting repeatedly with a hot iron or blade. The facial area is first cleaned with water, then a design is picked ( mostly strokes) after which, they cut and burn the skin until the desired width and depth is reached. Another method involves scratching, scrapping and cutting designs that leave permanent scars on the body. The duration of healing of a scar is roughly six to twelve months which depends largely on skin types and the extent of the would.

Therefore, by contrast, scarification especially in West Africa is viewed as self-harming, mutilative and self objectifying. It is also seen as an outdated cruel practice and involuntary (in the case of little children) markings which induce pains and suffering. It is necessary then that everyone including children is given the knowledge about scarification, its processes, importance and values, and then allowed the choice to make for their own bodies. This, of course, will require that children be old enough to decide for themselves, whether yes or no to scarification.

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scarification
Linda Osifo..

In this modern times, however, scarification may have lost its values and perceived importance in most parts of the continent. Now makeovers, body creams and lotions have taken over its aesthetic values. People no longer need a scar to appear attractive and sexy and there are not many such battles nor hunters anymore.

Now people with scarification marks are viewed as local, ignorant and outdated. There is a kind of stigma associated with it- one of shame, fear and low self-esteem, whilst they look for ways to cover up their marking themselves or as Linda Osifo once confessed, through surgery especially when questions such as “if I got scratched by lions in Africa” are asked.

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This shouldn’t be the case. And everyone should be allowed to decide for themselves to avoid regrets and resentments.

Culture

Tips To Keeping Your Marriage In The 21st Century

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Tips To Keeping Your Marriage In The 21st Century

Are you worried about keeping your Marriage In The 21st Century? Here are tips for you.

The idea of “happily ever after”, an idea propagated by Walt Disney’s cinematography is the yearning of most marriages. However, this ideology has thwarted the realities of many marriages of the 21st century, leaving couples in shambles and dismay. But Disney can’t take it all.

With the vast array of technological advancements, and the ” live fast, die young” pursuit for unbridled wealth, marriages of the 21st century are not just at the brink of collapsing but are collapsing.

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Since 21st-century marriages don’t have the perseverance of marriages of the past leading up to their fragile nature, here are five cues plus extras to keeping a healthy marriage in the 21st century.

Below Tips To Keeping Your Marriage In The 21st Century

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  • Patience: Marriages of the 21st century are lacking in this virtue and are in a hurry to blossom without nurturing. Patience is critical when considering how to sustain the fragility of 21st-century marriages. The virtue of patience has since walked out the door in 21st-century marriages and should be nurtured back as it is the life of many marriages. Some enter into marriage already envisaging the worst without being patient for the sweetest part of the union.
  • It’s a fallacy; no one completes you. The notion of a better half completing you is an illusion and one way to sustain your marriage in the 21st century is to withdraw such philosophy. Expecting someone to complete you is a big shoe to fill. This is the beginning of bigger troubles if one partner isn’t meeting up with the other partner in terms of “completing”. Be the best for you, someone will meet you while you are working on your wholeness and all will align.
  • Compatibility; Physical attraction is great but there is a bigger fish to fry like seeking out compatibility and other non-tangible alluring characteristics in a partner.
  • Investment/commitment to your marriage. It is clear that the hardship 21st-century marriages are faced with, tentatively due to the lack of commitment, reveals itself through cracks in the marriage. The partners do not give time for the marriage to blossom into maturity. Recall that the wedding vows did not promise perfection, but juxtaposed complementary opposites. “For better for worse”, ” For richer for poorer”.
  • Selflessness; Be selfless to your partner that way you both put each other’s needs at the top of the list.
  • Like staying in shape needs an individual to actually work on exercising and dieting, always work on your marriage. Researchers have seen that the happiest time couples are the happiest in their marriage is as newlyweds. Afterwards,  the feelings plummet and that’s what researchers termed a “downward trajectory in marriage satisfaction”. This rises from the recurring fights and arguments that are bound to take place. Don’t wait till there is a pileup or resentment to work on your marriage. Always work on it from the get-go.
  • Additionally, learn how to fight. Bickering is no stranger to couples, but you should learn how to have disagreements as a couple. How do you do this? By taking into perspective the other partner’s point of view and figuratively wearing the shoes to know where it pinches. Getting off that high horse leaves you glued to your viewpoint and being open to your partner’s opinions which would lead to the convergence of agreement.

 

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African mask sold for 4.2 mn euros in France despite protest

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African mask sold for 4.2 mn euros in France

A carved mask from Central Africa, dating from the 19th century, was sold in France for 4.2 million euros ($4.6 million) on Saturday, despite Gabonese protesters in the auction house calling for the item’s “‘restitution”.

The rare wooden “Ngil” mask, used in ceremonies by the Fang ethnic people of Gabon, smashed its estimate of 300,000-400,000 euros at the auction in the southern French city of Montpellier.

“It’s a case of receiving stolen goods,” a man describing himself as a member of the Gabonese community in Montpellier exclaimed from the back of the auction room, surrounded by half a dozen compatriots.

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“We’ll file a complaint. Our ancestors, my ancestors, from the Fang community, we will recover this object”, the protester added, describing the mask as a “colonial ill-gotten gain”.

Auctioneer Jean-Christophe Giuseppi said the auction was “entirely legal”, as far as he was aware.

Accompanied by security guards, the demonstrators left the auction hall calmly, but continued their protest against the sale of African works of art.

Saturday’s auction also included a Congolese chair which sold for 44,000 euros.

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With added costs and fees, the total paid by the successful bidder for the Fang mask was 5.25 million euros, close to a record for such an item.

In 2006 a similar Fang mask brought in 5.9 million euros at a Paris auction.

 

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Culture

Dine Oriental With This Egg Fried Rice Recipe

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Egg Fried Rice Recipe

If you’re obsessed with egg fried rice and would love to make it at home here’s the fast and easy recipe you need.

Ingredients 

  • Cooked rice
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce 
  • Chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, onions, green pepper, scallions”)
  • Eggs (Lightly beaten) 
  • Salt & white pepper 
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Recipe 

  • To prepare egg fried rice, start by boiling some rice the day before, adding a little salt. Next, refrigerate the rice for 2-3 hours or leave overnight. 
  • Next, whisk some eggs and fry on a pan lightly coated with sesame oil. Swirl the eggs around lightly until slightly brown and scrambled.
  • It’s now time to fry your vegetables. Pour some oil onto a pan and lightly fry the already chopped vegetables. Then add chilled rice and stir the mixture properly. 
  • Add the scrambled eggs, and spice up with seasoning and soy sauce for an authentic flavour.  
  • Finally, serve as a main dish or side.

 

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