Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I am a Muganda by tribe. We're the largest tribe in Uganda and, in my opinion, have quite a rich culture. some people don't agree but everyone is entitled to their opinion right?
Anywho, I was thinking about the differences between my culture and Christianity and a lot of things popped into my head. Some people find it very hard to choose which to adhere to especially when the two hold such contradicting views. I believe that I am in the world but not of the world therefore my allegiance is to Christ as a Christian.
The truth is that there are some really freaky things about our culture. Witchcraft, scary rituals, silly beliefs.... I found out about most of these just recently because I grew up in a Christian home that only highlighted the good things in our culture.
I think that even though I'm a Christian I need that sense of identity that a tribe gives me. I'm proud of the fact that I have a tribe, a native language, a clan, a clan name and a king. But I also believe in Jesus Christ and He is the King of Kings so I guess that trumps my tribe, right?
Recently I was telling someone that my introduction ceremony - which is the cultural function/ marriage as some have called it - was very simple. During the introduction my family is supposed to pretend that they do not know that I'm going to introduce them to someone. But my family said they would not do that because as Christians they'd be 'lying' in a way because they do know that he is coming - I mean why all the guests???? Anywho, she promptly told me that I do not respect my culture and it got me thinking...... I do but it does not rule over me - God does. If His opinion clashes with that of my tribe then He wins because He is Almighty!
There are also a lot of things that Baganda women will tell you before you get married. One of them is that as a woman you need to keep some money of your own away from your husband just in case.... In other words, don't trust your man because he can run away with another woman and leave you penniless. Ummm..... I don't think I want to do that. I want to trust, respect and submit to my husband wholeheartedly - the way God meant it to be. I will not keep aside money because I trust him and that's what the Lord expects of me.
There are lots of things that I've found out about my culture. Some have made me cringe and some made me very proud. But the bottom line is my tribe is there to give me a sense of belonging and culture but as a Christian, God has the final say in the way I should live my life because well.... it's just better :-)