Thursday, June 12, 2008

Home photos

Some photos showing my house, relations and my church in Blantyre, Malawi.


Things I Wonder About

I sometimes think we Africans overdo it when it comes to titles and authority. Or is it that by nature we don't like authority and it is necessary to show 'superiority'? During my time at the national radio in Malawi, it was common to get calls from people saying something like: "My name is Honourable X". That made me laugh. Surely a name can be Joe, Jack, Jane, Mary, but not Honourable Y!!
Furthermore I like the informal nature of Europe where the first name is predominant...even at school and in church. I submit that there is more closeness between the clergy and the laity, teacher and student through that. Sometimes one has childhood friends who with time get ordained as pastors. In the Malawi setting that special link that comes with calling the person by their first name is gone...and in a way the one-time friend takes a new dimension through the authority linked to the title of pastor or reverend. He or she is now a respected, authoritative figure you can't just call by the first name!
In class a teacher is more feared than respected through the title: 'Sir'.
On another note it is winter in Malawi and some areas registered 3 degrees celsius this week. Some folks were quite annoyed when I suggested that at 16 degrees celsius it was only 'cool' and not that cold...!