BBC WHYS: Do ancestors hold us back?

31/01/2011 § 1 Comment

Should we continue to worship the memory of our forefathers or is it an expensive waste of time? Devotion to ancestors is widespread across the African continent where many people consult the shrines of spiritual mediums as a way of seeking advice from those that have died.

Religious leaders in the continent are alarmed by the rise in ancestral worship and claim it has no place in today’s society.

 

How much do ancestors influence your life? Does their memory inspire or scare you? Do you have ancestral duties yourself? Are your ancestors holding you back? Or giving you spiritual guidance?

Read comments on this and listen to World Have Your Say here.

Ugandan spiritual medium sitting by a sacred tree

The beginning of the program:

Presenter: “Abdul, [22yrs old male in the studio] do you identify youself as Somalian or British?”
-…Somalian.
-Somalian?
“To what extent are you Somalian?”
-Ummm, as a person of Somalia, but I grew up in United Kingdom.
-Where were you born?
-Saudi Arabia.
-In Saudi Arabia… – and have you been to Somalia?
-Um yeh, I’ve been twice.
-You’ve been twice… When you go and come back, do you feel a sense of connectedness in a way you havent felt it before or does it just feel like you’ve gone to visit a certain place, that you have a heritage with but are coming back home, to the United Kingdom.
-Ummm. Nah I feel like when i go back i feel like I’ve had a connection because you meet a lot of your family, you see your culture and your heritage first hand and you see what, you know, what good life people are living there, because the media makes it seem that – you know – that Somalia is a terrible place.
-Is there a good life in Somalia? presenter asks very doubtfully.
-Yeh, there is.
-What did you see?
-People living healthy. Ah, you know, even people that dont have that much to eat – the community supports them – where I went. So it shows that its not just that, you know, third world county where its just refugee camps everywhere. People are living quite well. And you get to meet a LOT of your family with is very special.
-Strong sense of community.
-Yeh
-“Sumsa! [18 year old girl in the studio] I can see you smiling!” – the interviewer says chuckling. “Do you feel well percieved by other British young people? – Your peers, here in the United Kingdom… as a, as a young Somali?’
-Like do I feel connected, do you mean?
-Yes do you feel connected?
– Yes!
-Like do you feel accepted?
-Yes
-You do feel accepted?
-Yes, I do.
Listen to hear the rest.

…”I get  a sense right now as i speak to the young Somalis right now…  there appears to be a gap between the two generations, a different way of thinking and perception I hear the young people, and I could be wrong, saying that well that was then, this is now, that was them, this is us. Would you say you’re getting a similar sence ther in Manisota?”….

This is also interesting because you get to witness a conversation between two radio stations and two studios across the Pacific, the vast space between them have never been so obvious to me. It also becomes obvious how much rests on the attractiveness of the new homeland culture to the individual immigrant.

The young people in the UK studio; 22 born in Saudi Arabia, 21 born in Italy, 23 born in Somalia moved to Holland at the age of 2, 18 born in UK. How can these people own their identity so well – speak with ethnic accents!?

BBC: British Asians straddling two cultures

14/06/2010 § Leave a comment

“When I meet 21-year-old Asma she is perched on a simple rope bed.

The sound of goat’s bells jingle in the distance. Her village surroundings could not be further removed from her middle-class home in Edinburgh. Most second-generation Pakistanis come here and find themselves plunged into this unrecognisable world, yet they remain intrinsically tied to their roots.

“I somehow feel more at home here surrounded by my family,” she told me. “Your home is not where you live after all, it is where your heart is.”

And Asma looks every inch the Pakistani girl wearing a shelwaar kameez and a dupaatta covering her head. I wonder how many people recognise the strength of this bond.”

By Navdip Dhariwal
BBC News, Punjab

Full Story Here

Links Found Between Autism and Migration

19/05/2010 § 1 Comment

Autism and migration. Claudia finds out why leaving your country of birth to live elsewhere could pose a health risk to any children you later have in your new adoptive country. For the first time a large-scale study has shown that the risk of autism could be as much as five times higher in children whose mothers migrated to the UK from the Caribbean, Africa or Asia. She discusses this with Daphne Keen consultant paediatrician at St George’s Hospital in London.

Health Check on BBC World Service 17th May 2010

Listen here

First study to look at more than 400 children.

Following up on sporadic reports over the years, one study from Austialia in mid 1970’s which noticed an increase in autism in children born to German and Greek immigrants.

Looking at 400 children born in UK. Found an increased risk if parents had migrated from the Caribbean, Africa or Asia but not from other European counties.

The size of the increase of the risk, was greatest for the Caribbean population which was at least 5 times. the risk was significant but a bit less for the African population and a much smaller but still elevated fro those the Asian population.

Is ethnicity the factor then?  No. When the children whose parents had migrated from the Caribbean and Africa, were compared to those children who were born also born to parents from Caribbean and Africa but in UK. When analysed together the risk fell considerably, therefore it suggested that immigration is the major factor and ethnicity was just possibly a factor.

An idea to consider: the residual effect is in fact and attenuated risk observed in second and third generation, but has not been studied.

Could it be a by product of the stresses of migration?  – Although it is unkown what causes autism, it is not considered to be linked with adversity or  socio economic factors. However some links have been suggested between those kind of stress factors and social isolations and the on set of schizophrenia.

It was observed in this study that the child with autism was not always the first child to be born in the family following the migration.

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