Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My very own identity crisis (part 1)

I posted another identity crisis post concerning sudanese people in general but this is my very own idenity crisis experience!
I'm sudanese by birth and nationality but I'm a citizen of the world by culture.
I grew up in different countries in North Africa and the Middle East and I travelled to many more:), I went to an international school there where I got the chance to meet individuals from different backgrounds. Plus, most if not all my friends were non-sudanese. I have Lebanese, Palestnian, Egyptian, American, Tanzanians, British, Indian, Pakistani, Jordanian, Emirati, Bahreni friends and the list goes on and on and on....
I've always been proud of my Sudanese and African heritage but occasionally, I realize how I am so different from other Sudanese people specially the ones who were raised in the Sudan.
When I go back home, I feel like a tourist, halfcast, I dont know how to put it in words but I just feel that I'm different from the closest people ( my family).
I love Sudanese people and Sudanese culture but I still have ""little"" arguments with family members about a few things I dislike.
mmm...Why are Sudanese people always late? lol ok, I hate being late infact I'm chronically punctual! When my uncle was getting married we went to the place where the wedding was going to take place to get things sorted out before guests start arriving and the guy responsible for the hall is like "" are you guys sudanese? why are you soo early?!""
I always force my family to leave the house early so we can arrive on time but they say "" why should we go wait for people"" lol ok now, I should check if I have any German heritage?lol this punctuality is definitly not part of my African heritage! lol

Imagine you are getting married, you invite your family, close friends and the people who you actually want to be there. Great! but wait a sec, 30 mins goes by and you realize that you've never seen most of the faces sitting infront of you ( Are they Ahmed's family ya rabi? No, I know all of his family, who are they and what are they doing here?) all of a sudden, a woman approaches you and kisses you on the cheek and says "congrats" and you are like HOLD UP! whats going on here? The thing is my dear, its tradition. Yes, its simply tradition. you invited close friends and family members but the people you invited invited their close friends and family members too. In fact, Nafeesa invited her neighbours and her workmates!

How come Sudanese people invite all their friends, family and neighbours if they are inivited to a wedding/party/engagment or any other gathering? Its like hey people I was invited to this thing, come along! okkkk I hate this! When my cousin got married, they had about 500 uninvited guests! seriously, you should only provide seats and food for INVITED people!
When my cousin invited me to her friends wedding, I said no, I'm not going to go because I wasnt invited! ofcourse, she gave me the "what on earth is wrong with you ?look"" followed by the " you are aware that half of the people who will show up are not invited"" lol

Another thing.....mmmm....Think of it this way, you are getting married in a couple of days and you are sorting things out and just relaxing and stuff but...... hey, did you hear that? your neighbours''s grandmother just called you because she wants a glass of water! Hold on, what is she doing here again?
The thing is, your whole family, your friends, your neighbours and their families, their friends and their pets are staying at your place. Why? its a tradition! people have to stay over for atleast two weeks before you get married and two weeks after you get married (yes, even if you are spending your honeymoon in Paris, they are there!)
Apparently, they have to help out, support your family and help sort out your wedding and all...
I really dont know why they are there because it doesnt make any sense!( atleast to me it doesnt!)

I've come to the conclusion that I have to live there for a couple of years to accept such things and see them as "normal"" but for now, I hate being late! I hate people staying over before your wedding because they invade your privacy (wait, privacy in the Sudanese society? isnt your business everybody's business?) and I hate uninvited guests!

Finally, I'm Sudanese all the way and I love the Sudan and the Sudanese no matter what:D

with respect,

Wholeheartedly- Sudaniya

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