Monday, April 21, 2014

Of Two Ways to the Sapitwa Underworld, mythical Nyangu Tales

This post is an update to an earlier one about the Two Ways to the Sapitwa Underworld not as an endorsement but just documenting oral stories.
 
Amateur photo of Mulanje mountain taken when I was in a minibus as it drove past
If there is one place in Malawi that has been mysterious for centuries and the cause of many myths and tales, then Sapitwa, the highest peak of Mulanje mountain is the one.
So many tales have been told about Sapitwa ranging from ancestral spirits somehow providing free meals to some allegedly covering those who trek to forbidden areas without following rules, with a white cloth.
White is the colour of the dead in ancient Africa and somehow meaning the chosen person has joined the spiritual or astral realm.
Ancestors of this ancient land believed that “spirits” or what others call ghosts always appeared as white as paper.  They also believed that the female ones always covered their hair with a veil like the first Nyangu because it would supposedly move like a snake which sounds like an African version of the Medusa tale.
It is said such women never cut their hair and it formed into primitive dreadlocks.
Now civilization and Christianity among others came to Africa so this brief article is not an attempt to verify or justify tales and myths of this ancient land called Malawi, but to in a little way share some oral history and it’s tales the way many learned people do online with tales and myths about ancient Egypt including tales about “pagan” Osiris (Ausar), Isis (Aset) and Horus (Heru).
It’s history and gone but globally so much is documented about ancient times but not much about Malawi except for some Mbona stories and research. For some reason, myths and tales about Sapitwa have been excluded making all that is written sometimes appear half-baked.
Isis depicted with outstretched wings like Nyangu
(wall painting, c. 1360 BCE  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis
Now as is the case in the ancient history of other nations, there are also some similarities between some ancient Malawi stories told by some uneducated Sapitwa healers who can’t read and write this alphabet and ancient Egypt’s Osiris, Isis and Horus or Ausar, Aset and Heru.
In ancient Malawi, priests and priestesses (ansembe) responsible for sacrifice offerings (nsembe) somehow believed that the “spirit” or “soul” of a person entered and left the body through a person’s genitals as silly as that might sound to many of us.
So for ancient Malawian priests and priestesses responsible for nsembe (sacrifice offerings) that area represented life and its creation and so forth.
This blog won’t go into specifics but they claim that is why when some get possessed they feel a tingling sensation down there. 
They also believe that demons enter a person through there too hence ancient beliefs in sex being sacred and reserved for “married” couples or for specific ancient rituals.
This blog has not yet researched similar beliefs in other cultures and countries but for now this blog has information that Egyptologists called the ankh the symbol of life and it represented the male triad and the female unit, under a decent form according to information posted on the unofficial online Wikipedia.
The ankh is also described as the “key of life, the key of the Nile or crux ansata (Latin meaning "cross with a handle") and it was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read "life".
 “It represents the concept of eternal life, which is the general meaning of the symbol.[citation needed] The Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over their chest.
“The origin of the symbol remains a mystery to Egyptologists, and no single hypothesis has been widely accepted. One of the earliest suggestions is that of Thomas Inman, first published in 1869,”partly reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankh.
Ankh drawing from the Internet
Another symbol that is similar to many other cultures and countries including ancient Malawi is where Isis is depicted with outstretched wings in a wall painting (1360BCE) with her left knee bent and the right leg straight.
Those who know the ancient Egyptian meaning of this position please feel free to share so this blog can learn about foreign cultures and analyze.  In ancient Malawi a similar symbol was used for the Two Ways to the Sapitwa Underworld and was a direction to the right or left.
Again this blog will not go into details till it’s amateur research is completed. 
But what is interesting to know is some similarities globally and the fact that pyramids with their triangular shapes somehow resemble mountains with a sharp pointed peak according to Sapitwa healers who were shown photos of pyramids.
For unknown reasons, mountains globally have myths and tales attached to them and many are fully documented online.
In this ancient land now called Malawi, healers claim Sapitwa was the source of the 4 winds, mainly North, South, West and East which were said to be involved in rainfall and the drawing of the primitive ancient African cross.
Now this ancient African cross is now drawn with ufa woyera (white maize flour) which in ancient times could have been mapira (sorghum) but since there is no information posted online from our experts I will repeat what those of Sapitwa say.
Now it is this African cross which was like a key to the so-called underworld of Sapitwa which today we could call the astral realm for lack of a better word.
Ancient African cross representing the mythical 4 winds of Sapitwa
In ancient times, the Sapitwa healers believed that 4 positive male spirits charged the right side and that three negative female spirits charged the left side and together that made a total of 7 pulling each other to create light which to them was like the sun or lightning.
Another is a circle with an African cross in the middle to symbolize the mythical elderly man with white hair and a beard who’s said to have been appearing at Dziwe la Nkhalamba (swimming pool for the elderly) centuries ago and somehow providing free clothes which were usually robes gathered from rocks there.
The entrance and foundation in the tales was said to be a white rock whom ancestors of this land believed was at Dziwe la Nkhalamba.  In such myths and tales, the ancient priestesses were the ones who were believed to guide souls to their destiny.
In the photo below I’ve attempted to re-create some drawings I saw with some Sapitwa healers but basically in their primitive and now “pagan” beliefs they thought souls enter from the south and approach two ways.
One was to the right and the other to the left and in between was an upright serpent spirit whom they claimed was the spirit of a king.
In some other ancient African cultures, it was believed when some kings pass on they become the upright cobras, black mambas or the python which in their tales would also be drawn upright as to them these spirits spoke like human beings.
Now in their primitive beliefs, they thought when a soul gets to the two ways, the serpent spirit in the middle would chose which direction they should take.
On the left was a monster with horns and fire and scary eyes while on the right there was a tunnel and bright white light. It is this black tunnel which some believe could be a black hole into the so-called astral realm but no research has been done to verify this tale so it will always be a myth.
My attempt to draw the Two ways of the so-called Sapitwa underworld. What I saw as people might be souls but I’m not sure as I quickly saw the hieroglyphics looking stuff of their beliefs I suspect are hidden on the mountain
This blog will post more info once it’s sourced from Sapitwa this month-end when little money is available to travel to Mulanje. Hopefully there won’t be any more attempts to hack this innocent blogger’s account.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Of ancient Malawi’s hidden gold treasure and two Tilapia fish?

A young Malawian woman in a vision sees a huge two-edged sword locally known as kandalanga with a white handle and pure gold handle and can’t help but notice how the gold seems polished and sparkling, its effects seeming to hit her eyes.
Gold photo taken from the Internet not connected to this story

She struggles to carry the sword assisted by a hexagon shaped man with a yellow measuring tape who is trying to make her catch a huge silver fish in shallow water.
Trying to make sense of the dream, the woman notices how the fish is wriggling but can’t use the heavy sword to catch it the way a fish eagle locally known as mvundulamadzi does.

This is also the nickname for a mythical two-edged sword used by ancient Malawi’s Mbona for its actions were considered to cause confusion the way a fish eagle does when it touches down with a thud to stir up the water and confuse the fish upwards so go some oral stories.
ish eagle photo from the Internet

This blog is trying to establish if the fish is Lake Malawi’s Tilapia (chambo) fish species or another type found in other rivers of Malawi.

However the other fish species is not known but believed to be in the salty waters of the Indian Ocean which can be accessed from Mozambique which borders with Malawi.

In ancient Egypt two fish were very powerful symbols with a deep meaning.

Both fish were Tilapia and the Nile perch and iniconography, there was often a man spearing both at the same time, in reality it was quite impossible.

“And that’s where it gets interesting. Indeed, if tilapia is a fish living in shallow water, mainly in lakes, river banks or ponds, the lates is living in the waters dark and deep, in the bed of the river. You could not catch them at the same time and therefore the representation of a man catching both at the same time, has a hidden meaning.

Tilapia was associated in many ancient poems with sunrise and the light blue of turquoise and with protection because the female is during danger sheltering her babies in its mouth among other things.

The two fish were also represented following the solar boat since one represented the night and the other the day.

Oreochromis of the squamipinnis group. Photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver taken fromhttp://malawicichlids.com/mw10100.htm
In the “Book of the Dead” song 14, it is said the deceased when he wants to join the solar bark: “You see a real Tilapia in its turquoise pool…”And” I hold the true tilapia guiding the speed boat on the water…”

And catching at the same time, two so different fish in ancient Egypt iconography is first to be didactic, a good teaching method to remind and warn about the properties of the different fish but it is “mostly a representation for man of his control on the day and on the night: it is to say his mastery on his destiny,” partly reads http://www.gigalresearch.com/uk/article-201301.php

Sapitwa healers claim the gold on the sword is from the treasure of Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) and does not belong to mortal beings like us.

They also claim many ancient kings in the region hid their treasures including gold in “sacred” mountains where no man goes they say.

Although gold in ancient times is said to have been administered as medicine by shamanic practitioners locally known as asing’anga, this blog is still investigating how gold was sourced in ancient Africa.

Gold as a metal has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinagejewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history.

Most of the Earth’s gold probably lies at its core, the metal’s high density having made it sink there in the planet’s youth. Virtually all discovered gold is considered to have been deposited later by meteorites that contained the element.

The asteroid that formed Vredefort crater 2.020 billion years ago is often credited with seeding the Witwatersrand basin in South Africa with the richest gold deposits on earth readshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold .

However, the gold bearing Witwatersrandrocks were laid down between 700 and 950 million years before the Vredefort impact. These gold bearing rocks had furthermore been covered by a thick layer of Ventersdorp lavas, and the Transvaal Supergroup of rocks before the meteor struck.

“What the Vredefort impact achieved, however, was to distort the Witwatersrand basin in such a way that the gold bearing rocks were brought to the present erosion surface in Johannesburg  on the Witwatersrand, just inside the rim of the original 300 km diameter crater caused by the meteor strike.

“This brought their rich gold deposits to the notice of humans in 1886, and launched the Witwatersrand Gold Rush. Nearly 50% of all the gold ever mined on earth has been extracted from these Witwatersrand rocks,” further reads the unofficial online Wikipedia.

Egyptian hieroglyphs from as early as 2600 BC also describe gold, which king Tushratta of theMitanni claimed was “more plentiful than dirt” in Egypt.

Egypt and especially Nubia had the resources to make them major gold-producing areas for much of history. The earliest known map is known as the Turin Papyrus Map and shows the plan of a gold mine in Nubia together with indications of the local geology.
Gold bars photo from Wikipedia

The primitive working methods are described by both Strabo and Diodorus Siculus, and included fire-setting.

According to the same online source, gold played a role in western culture, as a cause for desire and of corruption, as told in children’s fables like Rumplestiltskin, where the peasant’s daughter turns hay into gold, in return for giving up her child when she becomes a princess, and stealing the hen that lays golden eggs in Jack and the beanstalk.

Another recent study has claimed water in faults vaporizes during an earthquake, depositing gold. When an earthquake strikes, it moves along a fault.

“Water often lubricates faults, filling in fractures and jogs. About 6 miles (10 kilometers) below the surface, under incredible temperatures and pressures, the water carries high concentrations of carbon dioxide, silica, and gold.

“During an earthquake, the fault jog suddenly opens wider. The water inside the void instantly vaporizes, flashing to steam and forcing silica, which forms the mineral quartz, and gold out of the fluids and onto nearby surfaces.”

“The world’s oceans contain gold…. At 10 parts per quadrillion the Earth’s oceans would hold 15,000 tonnes of gold.”

Other major gold producers are the United States, Australia, Russia, and Peru, as well as, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. Mines in South Dakota and Nevada supply two-thirds of gold used in the United States.

Gold is currently valued at around US$62,000 per kilogram and the genuine wealth and real money according to http://matterhornassetmanagement.com/gold-is-money/

“Throughout history no paper currency has survived in its original form. Paper currencies are normally inflated away until they are worthless. The purchasing power of the US dollar has declined by 90% since 1950. The situation is the same for most currencies.

When governments come under financial pressure they can never resist printing money to pay for debts, be they war debts or just excessive spending. Gold is the only currency which has no liability attached to it.

So far no paper currency has survived intact over a longer period whilst gold has represented real money for several thousand years. When paper money fails investors who own gold still have a currency which holds its value despite the fact that banks may be bankrupt,” further reads the same source.


 
Gold, hidden treasure in the Ocean?

‘Married Jezebel spirit spreads demons through sex’ - Sapitwa

Red demon cat eyes photo from the Internet

A professional ‘God-fearing’ Malawian woman happily married to the man of her dreams has one dark secret which she cleverly keeps hidden from prying eyes.
She’s taken many young men to bed and openly committed adultery whenever her faithful husband treks out of town because the lust within her is unbearable and enough to betray the love she has for the husband she married in church.
This scenario is different from abused wives neglected by husbands who seek comfort and love elsewhere because of empty and loveless marriages.
Now the jealous woman who deliberately cheats on a loving husband is also a known liar and gossiper who sleeps her way around and destroys innocent people whom she envies because they’re either better than her in some skills or prettier.
She also uses magic charms like kwakwananda [monitor lizard] love charms to keep her husband and to attract many other men she constantly strips naked for even on her marriage bed.
Young men are usually encouraged to run away so fast from such women as they are believed to be possessed by the Dziwe Ntambamwana red female demon which will eventually destroy them and the women involved by taking them down the destructive path of Satan.
Red eyes like the colour of delicious red wine
Men who cheat and openly commit adultery and make their wives suffer are also believed to be possessed by the same female demon and viewed as un-masculine because in ancient times “real men” took care of their extended families even when several wives were involved.
It’s not unusual to hear the term “sugar mummies” these days on top of “sugar daddies” who are usually married people who have sexual relations with younger people outside their marriages in exchange for money and a “comfortable life”.
However those who usually come under attack are single people or sex-workers who never took vows but stand accused of fornication among many things unlike some who hide behind marriage vows taken before God who remains Almighty.
For the older people who cheat sexual satisfaction and adventure is said to be the main culprit.  However many traditional healers attribute such lust and negative behavior to Satan or what those who read the Bible claim is a “Jezebel like spirit”.
In ancient Malawi polygamy and not adultery was openly practiced in which wives and families knew each other and not the modern day scenario were secret lovers are hidden and not known say Sapitwa healers.
They also reveal how many healers who use nyanga (horn) rituals in so-called get rich business schemes prescribe criminal incest and sexual intercourse as part of their evil recipe to get the demons into the person requesting.
That is why shocking and criminal things like telling a person to sleep with one’s parent or child like an animal have been happening quietly for many years.
Such nyanga healers don’t hide that they source their powers from Satan.  It’s not the purpose of this blog to dig and research the dark secrets of Satan but just to only repeat a little part of oral stories that sexual intercourse with many partners is the ancient Malawi definition of Satanism because it also spiritually involves blood.
Elsewhere in the world and in some Christian beliefs demonic transference of spirits via sex are also seen as the “transference of evil or unholy spirits via sexual intercourse activities.”
“There is a very powerful transference of spirits via sex and it is the easiest ways through which evil spirits are transferred easily from one person to another.
“In every 100 percent of negative or unholy transference of spirits; over 85 percent are traceable from or to someone past very rough sexual activities.
“The Holy Bible tells us in (1Cor.6:16) that if you are jointed sexually with a harlot ; you both become one, so, if you have sexual relationship with a highly demonized persons or occultist agents or witchcraft agents this would easily bring unholy transference of spirits from such a person to anyone involved,” partly reads one internet source.

Infidelity or the Immoral act by either on the side of a man or woman within any instituted marriage life can easily open door for demons transferring or invading the party involved.
Though rarely quoted in Malawi unlike those usually quoted against homosexuality which cannot happen in secular states like Malawi, Deuteronomy 22:22 reads:
“If a man is caught having intercourse with another man’s wife, both of them are to put to death.  In this way you will get rid of this evil.”
Leviticus 20:10 also reads “If a man commits adultery with the wife of a fellow-Israelite, both he and the woman shall be put to death” and in Matthew 5:27-28 which some connect to pornography reads:
“You have heard that it was said Do not commit adultery. But now I tell you; anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart.”
If a person has sex with an occultist or nyanga healer they are also believed to get demons or the person removing spiritual power from them to empower themselves and so on.
When asked what is the way forward, healers agreed with religious figures that it is best and safer for one to be faithful in a marriage and not have sex outside marriage to avoid the risk of attracting demons.
Healers also commend sex-workers for being open and not hypocritical by openly stating they make money from sex as a job and try to protect themselves and clients during the act unlike some married couples who secretly behave like sex-workers in hidden dark corners but pretend to be holy and pure in public.
It’s safer not to commit adultery and be faithful to one’s partner both sides of spiritual views seem to agree upon and advice counselling for couples who neglect their spouses.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

‘Ancient Malawi respected Elders while modern one the Youth’ – Sapitwa


You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:32 (ESV)


A young child after watching Nigerian “horror movies” for those aged 18 and above about witchcraft and Satanism among other things finally goes to sleep around 10 pm and has nightmares.
In her dreams she sees a nearby elderly woman approaching her yard and all sorts of things happening nearby and tells her mother the vision in the morning.
The mother than rushes to tell other women and they decide to march to the elderly woman’s house to burn it down and kill her after accusing her of practicing witchcraft despite resistance from some church members.
The fact that the elderly woman is an active member of a well-known church is ignored as the women are determined to harm what they believe is a witch (mfiti).
Elsewhere in a village a very old woman is accused of using charms and eating some specific animals to keep her alive.  Villagers claim she went through kukhwima magical rituals and is rotting with worms while alive and has to be carried outside to sit in the sun.
In a different village an elderly person sleeps in a room stinking of urine and unable to walk because of ill health and not many care because aging seems to have become a crime in the area.
The elderly are also suspect whenever there are droughts and accused of somehow holding or stopping rains by using so-called charms and nsupas which are the narrow necked African wine kettle gourds.
Rewinding back to the days before democracy in Malawi, it was not unusual to see the youth rushing to assist the elderly carrying heavy goods and suitcases or to give them a seat and stand while travelling by bus.
In the early days of minibuses when receipts were issued and when children paid half fares, some also charged half fares for the elderly.
All that is gone and instead some of the elderly who are past their working years are mocked and expected to pay full fares in minibuses even when they don’t have enough money and when a young person rushes to help them carry heavy goods they are charged for ganyu (piece work ) services.
Some of the greatest brains of Malawi have lived quiet unrecognized lives after retirement and ignored in their old age because that is the way this new Malawi is.
The term veteran or experience seems to be quickly losing any valuable meaning and instead new blood seems to be in fashion and creating a vicious cycle of trial and error while learning over and over again in various sectors of society.
It’s no longer in fashion to get wisdom and knowledge from the elders because some of their beliefs are viewed as old-fashioned or village like.
Even the elderly who go senile are eyed with suspicion and it’s not unusual to see many elderly women begging for money in some towns while others are busy raising their orphaned grandchildren.
The elderly who show signs of being senile are also taken advantage of and exploited or ill-treated just because of their old age say Sapitwa healers.
It’s such things that upsets Sapitwa healers as they feel nations that respect the elderly and elders prosper and are blessed and they insist Malawi has changed.
They say it’s not a crime to age and live a long life but a blessing from Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) and describe many of the long gone elders as walking libraries of oral stories.
They also claim unlike in the past when specific healers and not all had the duty of identifying suspected afiti (witches and wizards) in villagers, today anyone in Malawi can do it despite not having the powers to.
They claim in ancient times it took a “mfiti” [witch] to catch a “mfiti” in that one was protected by charms while the other deliberately harmed people.
Their beliefs are similar to those in the West of “white magic” viewed as “good” versus “black magic” viewed as “evil” but not in relation to races.
This blog again is not endorsing any beliefs, oral stories or modern day oracles since the author remains a Christian.
Also in traditional occult terminology, black magic is malevolent magic that seeks to hurt, while white magic is used for healing and other good purposes.
White Ceremonial Magic is, by the terms of its definition, an attempt to communicate with Good Spirits for a good, or at least an innocent, purpose. Black Magic is the attempt to communicate with Evil Spirits for an evil, or for any, purpose reads http://www.sacred-texts.com/grim/bcm/bcm06.htm

 
John Dee and Edward Keeley invoking a spirit taken http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Dee_and_Edward_Keeley.jpg
In other words, mortal beings were not supposed to visit the astral realm with various entities anyhow so it took one who visited that realm which is witchcraft to see the lower and evil entities so goes the oracle of Sapitwa.
Sapitwa healers warn there are many spirits in various astral realms so one has to make sure they're dealing with the right one before invoking them.
Sapitwa healers claim for centuries afiti (witches) who harmed people were punished by specific asing’anga for that purpose and not all asing’anga using undisclosed means.
To date this blog only knows about the banned mwabvi poison concoctions where those without ufiti were said to live etc and this posting is not to debate whether or not witchcraft exists because Sapitwa healers insist it has been a problem which has existed for centuries.
This blog is still researching to understand this message from Sapitwa and the Chichewa word for the ancient “witch-hunters”.
However the unofficial online Wikipedia states that Black magic has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magicfor evil and selfish purposes.

“With respect to the left-hand path and right-hand path dichotomy, black magic is the malicious counterpart of benevolent white magic. In modern times, some find that the definition of “black magic” has been convoluted by people who define magic or ritualistic practices that they disapprove of as “black magic”.

“Like its counterpart white magic, the origins of black magic can be traced to the primitive, ritualistic worship of spirits as outlined in Robert M. Place‘s 2009 book, Magic and Alchemy, ” further reads the unofficial Wikipedia.

So since in many ancient cultures including in Malawi it took a mfiti to catch a mfiti so it took someone who practiced white magic witchcraft (ufiti) to catch those who practiced black magic witchcraft (ufiti) in the spiritual realm.
The Sapitwa oracle also says in today’s world many without being in the astral realm see spirits and blame the elderly for most things that go wrong in their villages hence removing the previously broad ancient respect for the aged.
What is surprising is that some online publications do not list most African cultures as celebrating old age despite them being known to do that for centuries.
Is the Sapitwa oracle right or wrong about modern day Malawi?
According to the Huffington Post different cultures have different attitudes and practices around aging and death, and these cultural perspectives can have a huge effect on our experience of getting older.
“While many cultures celebrate the aging process and venerate their elders, in Western cultures — where youth is fetishized and the elderly are commonly removed from the community and relegated to hospitals and nursing homes — aging can become a shameful experience.

Physical signs of human aging tend to be regarded with distaste, and aging is often depicted in a negative light in popular culture, if it is even depicted at all. Psychologist Erik Erickson argued that the Western fear of aging keeps us from living full lives.

“Lacking a culturally viable ideal of old age, our civilization does not really harbor a concept of the whole of life,” he wrote.

However, an article about how the elderly are treated around the world explains how in countries like Korea and China, you can expect to be taken care of by your family while in America and England, not so much.

“A new “Elderly Rights Law” passed in China wags a finger at adult children, warning them to “never neglect or snub elderly people” and mandating that they visit their elderly parents often, regardless of how far away they live.

The law includes enforcement mechanisms, too: Offspring who fail to make such trips to mom and dad face potential punishment ranging from fines to jail time.”

Korea: Celebrating old age

Not only do Koreans respect the elderly, but they also celebrate them. For Koreans, the 60th and 70th birthdays are prominent life events, which are commemorated with large-scale family parties and feasts.

As in Chinese culture, the universal expectation in Korea is that roles reverse once parents age, and that it is an adult child’s duty — and an honorable one at that — to care for his or her parents.
Korean photo from the Internet

Japan: An elderly predicament
Like the Chinese and the Koreans, the Japanese prize filial piety and expect children to dutifully tend to their parents. But Japan also faces the unique problem of tending to an increasingly elderly population.
The U.S. and U.K.: Protestantism at play
Western cultures tend to be youth-centric, emphasizing attributes like individualism and independence. This relates back to the Protestant work ethic, which ties an individual’s value to his or her ability to work — something that diminishes in old age.
Anthropologist Jared Diamond, who has studied the treatment of the elderly across cultures, has said the geriatric in countries like the U.K. and U.S. live “lonely lives separated from their children and lifelong friends.”
As their health deteriorates, the elderly in these cultures often move to retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.
France: Parents also protected by law

France did, however, pass a similar decree in 2004 (Article 207 of the Civil Code) requiring its citizens to keep in touch with their geriatric parents.
It was only enacted following two disturbing events, though: One was the publication of statistics revealing France had the highest rate of pensioner suicides in Europe, and the other was the aftermath of a heat wave that killed 15,000 people — most of them elderly, and many of whom had been dead for weeks before they were found.
The Mediterranean and Latin culture: One big, happy family

Mediterranean and Latin cultures place similar priority on the family. In both cultures, it’s commonplace for multiple generations to live under one roof, (à la My Big Fat Greek Wedding) sharing a home and all the duties that come with maintaining one.

In the contemporary iteration of this living arrangement, the oldest generation often is relied on to assist with caring for the youngest, while the breadwinners labor outside the home. As such, the aged remain thoroughly integrated well into their last days, further reads the website.

And the Huffington Post lists 7 cultures that celebrate and respect their elders as being the Greek, Native Americans, Chinese and Indians among others.

“Old man” isn’t a bad word in Greek.

The Western cultural stigma around aging and death doesn’t exist in Greece. In Greek and Greek-American culture, old age is honored and celebrated, and respect for elders is central to the family.

Native American elders pass down their knowledge.

Though attitudes towards death in contemporary American culture are largely characterized by fear, Native American cultures traditionally accept death as a fact of life.

There are over 500 Native American nations, and each has its own traditions and attitudes toward aging and elderly care. But in many tribal communities, elders are respected for their wisdom and life experiences.

Within Native American families, it’s common for the elders to be expected to pass down their learnings to younger members of the family, according to the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Native American woman photo from  Internet
In Korea, elders are highly respected.

Much of the Korean regard for aging is rooted in the Confucian principle of filial piety, a fundamental value dictating that one must respect one’s parents (although Confucius was Chinese, Confucianism has a long history in Korea).

Younger members of the family have a duty to care for the aging members of the family. And even outside the family unit, Koreans are socialized to respect and show deference to older individuals as well as authority figures. It’s also customary in Korean to have a big celebration to mark an individual’s 60th and 70th birthdays.

The hwan-gap, or 60th birthday, is a joyous time when children celebrate their parents’ passage into old age.

The age is thought to be reason for celebration in part because many of their ancestors would not have survived past the age of 60 without the advances of modern medicine.

A similar large family celebration is held for the 70th birthday, known as kohCui (“old and rare”).

Chinese children care for their parents in old age.

As in Korea, Chinese families traditionally view filial piety and respect for one’s elders as the highest virtue, deriving from the Confucian tradition.

Although westernization has lessened the power of these values in some cities and communities, adult children are still generally expected to care for their parents in their old age.
“Placing your parents in retirement homes will see you labeled as uncaring or a bad son,” Beijing resident Zhou Rui told China.org.

“To abandon one’s family is considered deeply dishonorable.” However, this tradition is beginning to break down in China, due to the country’s one-child policy, rising life expectancy and an aging population. Nursing homes are beginning to become a more socially acceptable option for elderly care.

In India, elders are the head of the family

Many Indians live in joint family units, with the elders acting as the head of the household. The elders are supported by the younger members of the family and they in turn play a key role in raising their grandchildren.

“Advice is always sought from them on a range of issues, from investment of family money to nitty-gritties of traditional wedding rituals and intra-family conflicts. And this is not just passive advice; their word is final in settling disputes,” Achyut Bihani wrote in Slate.

“The elderly are often the most religious and charitable members of the family.” Disrespecting the elders of the family or sending them to an old-age home has a social stigma in India, Bihani adds.

Traditional Indian family unit photo taken from the Internet
In the African-American community, death is seen as an opportunity to celebrate life.

In African-American culture, death is seen as part of the “natural rhythm of life,” which lessens the cultural fear around aging. For this reason, Karen H. Meyers writes in The Truth About Death and Dying,

“African-American funerals tend to be life-affirming and to have a celebratory air intermingled with the sorrow.”

In ancient Rome, elders were a precious resource.

Though the average life expectancy in ancient Rome was around 25, some individuals did live into their 70s, and they were generally respected for their wisdom.

“The Romans made use of their elderly and had faith in their wisdom and experience,” writes Dr. Karen Cokayne of the University of Reading, quoting Cicero as saying, “For there is assuredly nothing dearer to a man than wisdom, and though age takes away all else, it undoubtedly brings us that.”

“Wisdom had to be worked at — by hard work, study and especially by virtuous living,” writes Cokayne. “The old were expected to act with moderation and dignity, at all times.

The old had to be an example to the young, as it was thought the young learned by example. This was ingrained in Roman society” further reads http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/what-other-cultures-can-teach_n_4834228.html

African-American women friends also photo from http://theweek.com/article/index/246810/how-the-elderly-are-treated-around-the-world






Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star.

.....watch this space.


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