The Village in The Person Often Carries the Day.
The is something about the village. And when I speak of the village, I mean the real village. There is a faction of people who haven’t had the opportunity to be in a proper village setting. If you have not been to a place where people and chickens and goats share the same house, then you’ve not been to a proper village.
A village is where everybody knows everyone else and thus everyone is everyone’s business. At least while my growing up in the village, we the young boys and girls were everybody’s business. If you dared misbehave around an elder who was not your blood parent, they had the right to discipline you. Not anymore though.
Eating was communal in those days. I remember something to the effect of an association with my agemates which centred on eating. We could start at my place and eat and go to my other friend’s places and eat and eat until by the end of the day we could have eaten in about three to five different homes. We never feared anything, and nobody complained.
The women of the village enjoyed it when they saw us eat in their kitchens. With every meal we ate, be sure we paid for it and it never looked like anything then or even today while looking back. That was the village for us. Reminiscing and I think we were inoculating ourselves with the village mannerisms that fast forward have become so imbued in us until you can notice the village in us even when we move to different towns or places.
The person who crafted the saying that you can take a person out of the village but you can never take the village out of the person was very smart. He/she must have been one villager by blood who tried to win over the village in him/her in a new place and failed.
So, one funny thing about the village is that when we meet with each other in the morning we have to greet the village way. An observer would think it is a fight. No, those are greetings to us. We call each other names until you may wonder if we are in a national park somewhere. We call each other crocodiles, lions, cheetahs and the like. After that, we go and if we happen to meet even five times within the same day, we have to greet each other a new as though we are meeting for the first time.
It is not surprising then to be walking in the cities and find these same habits. I could be walking across the street and some village mate catches a glimpse of me and shouts from the other side of the street and we have to shake hands the village way. It is even funnier and weirder in foreign places.
The second thing is about our eating habits. The village in us goes with us everywhere we go. Given the first taste that gets registered in our minds is that of the foods we are first introduced to at young age, it then becomes hard for us to adapt easily to new foods. Once we find ourselves in new environments, we strive to engineer the food we find there to suit our village taste.
I will not be surprised to learn that the village sour milk, the likes of mursik, and porridge have gone international. What other explanation can we give for that except the fact that the village in us is winning? Some people will want to be a little bit civil and call those culture transfers, but they are simply the ‘villageism’ in us winning.
However, a word of caution is that we all need to be careful with this ‘village in us’ thing and not rush to try and invigorate that into any new ecosystem we find ourselves in. Given the new ecosystem may have its ‘villageism’, they may end up calling the police on you because you showed up on their door to say hi as you do in your village every morning.
If in your village you go about throwing stones at dogs, please be careful in new environments as you may be doing so to someone’s best friend and you find yourself in jail for life. But if you meet your village mate and they haven’t traded the ‘village vitality’ with civility, let the demons loose and the village wins as it is bound to anyway.
By all means, be you. As long as the village in you is not breaking any law or anybody’s rights, let it loose and win. Fry that omena and let the whole thing make a passer-by know that this frying style is from one of us. And should they knock on your door, just share with them and understand that the village in us is bigger than whatever misconceptions we may have been sold to believe.