(the insult part reminded me of this video 🙂 )
Name: Liz A.
Country of Origin: Uganda, Kenya
1) Being beaten as punishment. I always found it interesting when my White or Asian friends would talk about being told to sit in a corner, or were sent to their room as a form of punishment. For us, we were beaten. My mum would usually get very thin branches that had fallen off the trees in our compound and my dad would get the thick ones, sometimes we would be sent to get them ourselves, and we would be given a few lashes on the calves of our legs.
In America, it seems that such a thing can result in social services being called in to review the situation or children here feel some sort of resentment towards their parents for it. But I have never felt any kind of resentment to my parents for it, it was a part of growing up. You do something wrong, you get disciplined and when we were young, being beaten was the way to be disciplined. I didn’t see it as abusive at all.
2) African insults. I find it so funny how in America, a painful insult usually consists of expletives, whereas where I come from, painful insults include” look at your face”, “look at yourself” – if someone tells you this back home, you feel so ashamed for whatever it is you have done wrong.
3)We always knew we were in trouble if my mum put the word ‘You’ before our names. If I ever heard my mum call out for me from another room by saying “You Liz”, I knew I was in hot soup as we like to say! And if my dad started a sentence with ”But this girl/boy” – you knew you were dead.
4)My parents would always tell us how they were always first in class (academically) to shame us for not doing perfectly in our classes. Funny thing is, all my African friends’ parents used to say the same thing, so I wonder how could all parents be first in class.
5) The topic of sex was completely taboo. If we were watching movies or tv shows with even so much as a prolonged kissing scene, people would start looking for the nearest exit, or suddenly find the ceiling so interesting or random topics of conversation would be brought up.
6)My dad used to make up diseases to scare us and put us off from eating too much of certain foods. My all time favorite “beaniosis”, the disease one gets from eating too much beans. Up to now I do not know the symptoms or the treatment.
7)All 7 of us being packed in the 5 seater to go to church on Sunday. In fact all seven of us made the 12 hour road trip from Kenya to Uganda in that 5 seater.
8)My mother rebuking everything in the name of Jesus. From the gecko on the wall to the cat that crossed the street to silly comments me and my siblings made.
9)All our fruits and vegetables had to be washed with soap and water.
10)My parents could never pay the asking price for anything. They had to negotiate and bargain for every single thing!
11)My parents for some reason always remember everyone else’s name but the name of the person they are actually trying to call. For instance, if my mum wants to summon me, she will start”Carol, eh Richard, I mean Dave, no John, ah Liz, Liz, come here”