Sunday, March 21, 2010

How Enlightened Are Americans?

Sometimes it amazes me how some Americans do not even know their own country . If they do not know their own country would they know about the world ? A World map published and distributed to schools by Holt had Cambodia as a country in Africa. Ask my friend Andre Franco. Hitherto I do not understand why the majority of Americans still say: “Excuse me; which country do you come from again: Africa? So to make things easier for myself I introduce myself by just saying “I am from Africa”, but if the person proves enlightened and asks which country then I go ahead and say Cameroon. “Sorry I did not get you well”. Then you repeat “Cameroon”. “Cameroon? Is that still in Africa? They will quickly retort like our adorable Kellie Pickler .

Is that close to Egypt? They will rejoin. My mother-in-law went to some part of Egypt. They explain. Do you speak African or what do you speak? Sometimes I want to snap back that “would you ask a German if he or she speaks European”. You explain that in Africa we speak more than two thousand (2000) languages. They will quickly cut you up with “you mean dialects”. I find it intriguing that a Master’s degree holder in English Language does not know the difference between a dialect and a language. You dress well they ask you. “Where did you learn how to dress when you guys don’t wear clothes in Africa”? Who ever told you we all walk naked in Africa? “Did you ever sleep on a tree or a hut”? Some will say “Ayuk, have you ever killed a lion with your hands? Boy Kunta Kinte” which he actually pronounces as Kintakonte.

This guy met me one time during a Falcon’s game and said “Hey bro, I saw white people representing Zimbabwe in the Olympics. Do white people live in Africa too”? I will say listen: they do not only live there; they are actually Africans for more than 31/2 centuries. Are they from America or something? He will ask in utter bewilderment.

I was working with this guy, so he invited some girls to see him at work. I asked: if one of them was married. “Hamilton, don’t you go there. You already have many wives like ten or so back in your country, but I just have this one”. He pontificated. I wonder where the notion came from that every African is a polygynist. The one I always heard was that African men are domineering. I have tried to invite people to our cultural functions so that they can erase some of their wrong stereotypes.

One day an American teaching Spanish threatened that if the other teacher “kept speaking that thing (Spanish) I (her) will get up and leave”. To me it was rather embarrassing that a Spanish teacher will threaten to leave if the other teachers kept speaking Spanish which she does not understand well. I mean, if you do not understand the language then learn it.

Let us say I fall in love with a woman from Idaho. To know the person better I will study the place that will be my new predilection. If they were speaking a language that I don’t understand, I will learn it. Take your time to learn of other people. When traveling, please take the world Map and glance through. Read online newspapers, for they are free. Attend functions of other people to sharpen your diversity skills.

Until then, know that isolationism is outdated, and the world is now a bigger village.

Prince & 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).

Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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