Asian Cultures

Afrikan languages like cultures are the foundation of the world's languages and cultures.

Asia is no exception. The influence of Afrika is evident in both languages and culture.

Cultural Similarities

Two women from Tonkin wearing traditional hair style
Three Burmese women in  brass neck ornaments.

Afrika is the foundation of Asia. The Afrikan cultural influence of the world is far-reaching, influencing much of the world including Asia. The world cultures were one and the same, all from the same source, Afrika. This, therefore, should highlight the similarities in culture between Afrika and Asia and similarities can be found in both language and culture.

Drawing of a woman with  unique spiral head-style
An African woman in a traditional outfit with a brass neck ornament

Honour Killing

"Family honour has never been about killing or disfiguring a family member but rather a moral code and conduct each member of the family must uphold".

Honour killings, the killings of a relative perceived to have brought shame and dishonour to the family, a practice widespread in Asia. This very same culture is practised in Afrika under different circumstances. Why honour killing? Why the perceived notion of bringing shame to the family, and where did this practice come from? 

Honour killings originate from Afrikans, observed by most indigenous cultures around the world, which has been corrupted in Asia.  One of the many mantras in Afrikan cultures is the notion that it takes a village to raise a child. This is because, the behaviour and character of an individual are of as much importance as anything (material) an individual has to offer, to their community or people. When an individual is of great character and helps their community, the praise, the adulation, the honour, not only goes to the individual but to the family as well. The family is the most important element in Afrikan cultures. Family is a very important universal and natural law and principle, something which even animals observe well. In the Afrikan family setting, the emphasis is on extended family rather than just the nucleus of a man, woman and child.

The extended family is first and foremost and everything belongs to the family. Everything including, the generational wealth, land, reputation, honour and deeds, accumulated by the family members, all belong to the family as a whole. And it is these wealth, reputation, honour and deeds accumulated by the family that family members must guard against to keep the good name of the family intact in the community. A good name is better than riches.

Honour killings stem from the idea of family honour found in many Afrikan cultures. We say in the Akan language, εdin pa, ye sεn ahonya (a good name is better than riches or material possession). In many Afrikan cultures, the family name or reputation is more important than anything, as characterised by the phrase above. This practice goes back to when societies were first being knitted together. Since people lived in small communities, having peace, stability in the community was of great importance. Each member of the family is expected to uphold a moral standard and principle. This ensured that there is no irritation among different families or even among family members, with the sole aim of maintaining peace and stability in the community as well as keeping the community and family together.

In a traditional Afrikan setting, when a child or a youngster goes out of the home to disrespect any other person, especially an elderly person, the blame is not placed on the shoulders of the child. The blame is put squarely on the shoulders of the adults in that household, especially the parents, more specifically, the mother of that child. 

When such incidents happen, the mother of that family and household are accused of being uncultured, uncivilised and failing to raise their child properly. In a small community or village where everyone knows everyone, this will be humiliating. So each member of the family, especially the young ones are expected to uphold moral code and conduct.

Certainly, one of the most intimidating prospects for an Afrikan child is when a stranger reports you (to your parents) for misconduct outside the home. This is almost suicidal, because it is the parents that get the blame and, this is where you get disciplined by your parents.This is the root of honour killings. It has nothing to do with the killing of any member of the family but rather keeping a moral code and conduct, in order to maintain the family name or reputation in the community. The notion of killing family members, under the pretence of keeping family honour, is rather a tragic corruption and perversion of ancient Afrikan culture.

An individual or family can be forgiven if such an incident happens once, but when it keeps happening time and time again, the accused family or individual will be expelled from the community or village. The killing, (of a family member) for whatever reason is one of the few crimes that will have an individual or family expelled from the community or village, mainly due to the nature of the crime.  Family honour has never been about killing a family member but rather a moral code and conduct each member of the family must uphold to keep the name and integrity of the family intact. The world cultures were one and the same, such is evident in the numerous cultural affinities between Afrika and Asia. Honour killings is merely a corruption of a well practised culture throughout the world, especially in Afrika.

A Gentle Exercise of Your Spine

Nkrapane (The Spine)

Nkrapane is your spine. it is a compound word, consisting of “kra” (soul) and “pan” (naked or bare.) Nkrapan translates as your naked or bare soul. Your empty soul. Pan can also be translated as a pane in the English land. Your naked soul or your soul pane.

Indeed your spine is the most important of all the bones and skeletons in your body. It connects the nervous system to your brain. It is your life force, an energy centre and due to human daily activities, the spine or this life force gets impure. This might result in emotional and chemical imbalances in your body. The spine or this life force, therefore, has to be reinvigorated through various gentle exercises, in order to replenish this energy centre and life force.

This is the reason why Yoga was established. The exact reason why Tai Chi and other similar forms of exercise exist. All a gentle exercise of your body to help replenish life force, and orient the body as well as your spirit and soul. The Ewe people of West Afrika in Ghana, Togo, and Benin, dance the Agbadza dance. The movement of the dance places emphasis on strengthening the spinal cord and the life force called “Tseka”. Your spine is your lifeforce. Your naked soul. All a gentle exercise of your spine.

Eka Tua (Karma)

Debt Repayment

There is a price to be paid for every action or inaction, for every deed or misdeed we take in life. Everything we do in life will either be an asset or a liability to you or those yet to come after you. Everything we do in life should only bring us a favourable outcome. Every action or inaction, every deed or misdeed, every you commit in life will have damning consequences, in time and in the future.

Whatever that you are doing, or even whatever you are not doing in life, if it is an asset, it will pay you. If it is a liability, you are also going to pay for it.  Eka Tua. There is a price to pay for every action or inaction, every deed or misdeed. It is often advised in life, to plan your every move and endeavour to ensure that everything you do brings you a favourable outcome. 

This happens both on the microscopic and the macroscopic. Individually or collectively as a people. As individuals we all have a part to play in our world, in our society, and when we fail to perform our duties and functions. It will have ripple effects, and with it, a price to pay either by you or those after you. Whatever you do in life should help advance your course, the course of your people, organisation etc. Everything you engage in, as an individual, society or people is to bring you a favourable outcome, either to you or to the generation after you. The concept of karma comes from engaging in activities that bring an unfavourable outcome either to you or your descendants.

In Hinduism, people, especially the poor are often taught that their poverty or illness is a result of punishment from their past lives. This is nothing but pseudo-spirituality. Certainly, there is a role and function for us all to play and failure to execute such a role or function as intended will have grave consequences on your future self. The fortunes or misfortunes of an individual, or a people is directly linked with the actions or inactions of those that came before. This is not a punishment but rather a  universal law and principle. Everything you do should only bring you a favourable outcome. Everything you do will either be an asset or a liability, and you will be rewarded as just.

Ani Biye (The Opening of the Eye)

We begin with a question. Wo eni abiye? A question which translates as are your eyes open? And when we say, eyes, we do not mean your two physical eyes. Your two physical eyes can only see where light touches but what of the places your eyes cannot see, how do you envision that? In the Akan language, εni which means eyes are synonymous with the mind, and so when we ask, wo εni abiye? We are asking, is your mind open? An open mind is an educated mind, an educated mind is able to entertain an idea without accepting it. An open and educated mind is able to discern, analyse and think critically with reason and logic.

So when we ask wo eni abi ye? We are asking, are you deep in mind, deep in thoughts, are you rich in ideas, is your mind enlightened?  Since your two physical eyes can only see what light touches and not the abstract, can you, therefore, see where lights cannot touch? Can envision what your eyes cannot see? Can you envision the future? Can you plan and execute the future? Your mind can only envision what your physical eyes cannot see.

We ask again, wo εni εfi? A question that also translates as is your eye matured? In other words, is your mind matured? You are discerning, are you deep in thoughts, ideas and in deeds?  Fi, in the Akan language, to be matured in thoughts and in deeds. Fi becomes the root of the English word philosophy.

In Buddhism and east Asia philosophies, there is the idea of the “third eye” which is nothing but corruption. There is no such thing as the “third eye”. Your mind is your eye. Your only eye, that has been to be illuminated and filled with ideas and visions. After all, our body organs, including our two physical eyes, are controlled and processed by the mind. Your eyes work in light and your mind works in darkness. Your mind is omniscient and omnipresent. Even in your sleep, your mind still functions. Your mind still dreams and envisions. Eni is synonymous with the mind because the mind is your true eye.

The "Third" Eye