Thursday, July 9, 2009

Relationship Between The Jews And Cameroonians

I don’t think it was neither nor is it out of sync when people compare Cameroonians with Jews if the analogy is in terms of Diaspora. The term was first used to mean the dispersion of Jews but it now means the scattering of a people. A survey in 1976 said that Cameroonians were the least among African countries to venture into foreign lands for fortunes. As compared to nowadays, especially with the selective exodus of doctors, lawyers, teachers and prelates there is similitude. The Vice major and Major of ENS Yaoundé in 1998 are all in the US. In that capacity there is a good synchronization of a scattered people; one for the sake of politics and the other for the sake of economy.

Nonetheless they are all scattered people. If he that is crying and he that is laughing are all guilty of making noise then the relationship will be that of noise making. If one person is forcefully scattered by political foes and another is dispersed by bad economic reforms, the unity in comparison is that, none wanted to go away and all want to go back to their homelands.

First it is misconstrued to think that Jews are united by faith. The Orthodox Jews do not identify themselves with Zionism. Then you have Christian Jews and Orthodox Jews. During the first century you had the Hellenists and the Hebrews. Hellenists were those who were born in non Jewish territories and spoke Greek or Latin but they were still Jews. Then there are those Jews who are Palestinians. Despite these differences we still say they are united by faith. If so then Cameroonians are united by faith in God under different umbrellas in the name of denominations.
Secondly, Jews do not have the same culture. The Ethiopian Jews, Palestinian Jews and the North American Jews: the latter even has grave differences between the Hasidic Jews and Liberal Jews.

Thirdly, the Jews enjoy a closed and opened ethnicity. Thus they had but do no more have the same ethnicity in terms of language, customs, traditions and social proclivity. Flashing back to their background as children of Abraham there has been great evolution. As time went on, this ethnicity gradually changed or expanded with the captivity to Babylon 596 BCE, the second was in 586 BCE and the third in 581 BCE. During this time we experienced the birth of Synagogues and the introduction of a new term Samaritan for the mixed Jew or who had one non Jewish parent. The New Palestine that would soon become Israel did not exclude these half-bred. This is why again we can say with confidence that even the Jews do not have a uniform or unified culture.

Therefore, in terms of application the term unified would be unbefitting for the Jews in terms of faith, culture and ethnicity. However, if used as a semi-total synonymy then we can accept the usage and that will be inclusive to the Cameroonians because to an extent they have one culture: Cameroonian, ethnicity: Bantu and Sudanic tribes. The unity in faith may be difficult to prove because of the kaleidoscope of religions permeated through the entire territory. Notwithstanding there are about 268 tribes and 284 languages in Cameroon. Though these complicate matters the more but it is possible to have similarities depending on what angle you view it.

One may even mention social evolution. That will buttress the point again better because if anyone talks of social evolutions then why must only Cameroon be static. If the Jewish culture, faith and ethnicity evolve, why not that of Cameroonians.
Again by avowing that there are differences, contradicts your initial position whereby people state that there was unity. In that case they should reconsult a dictionary again for the meaning of the word unity or unified. By having differences, it espouses my point of intotal synonymy which gives room for variants within the same unit. Soccer and other things bring Cameroonians together. The Cultural festival which I still do not see its raison d’etre seems to fulfill that purpose. As you know, in the absence of reality, the losers should be contented with shadows. Those in Diaspora (driven from home or runaways from home), seem to be contented with the cultural shadows they find abroad. When you watch their tapes, most of them do not even know how to dance their traditional dances. Their traditional regalia conflict with those of American rappers. Their musical instruments were reminiscent of a people on the run. That is what united them. You smile; don’t you?

In addition, before the people called now Cameroonians became Cameroonians did they have a common culture? Do they have a common root as Bantus and Sudanic tribes? Do they now have a common linguistic language in the hybrid pidgin/ or French and English? Past events will be no history if it is not recorded be it by oral traditions or written. And when History is recorded it becomes fact: be it subjective or objective.

Consequently, the longevity of Cameroonian history does not peter out its utility. No matter how short it is the people still find satisfaction in their history and as you know; just as no culture is superior to another no history is inferior to the other. The history of a people is the people on paper.
Nonetheless, cultural festivals are good and should be encouraged if they really bring culture. And that is where I am wondering aloud where cheerleading comes from our culture or some of the things I see during African dances. If it is a Cameroon cultural event it should be unadulterated with Karate rubrics, cheerleading and what have you.

Without digressing I now see from your response that that same point could be viewed differently. Whatever cultural communion you are eating I hope it is for the remembrance of Cameroon be it fictitious or factual.

Until then, have a great night.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk


“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

"Do you have family here?"

People always ask me each time I meet a new person, “Do you have family here?” Sometimes, when I meet a white person, he or she always...