Saturday, November 26, 2005

WardheerNews leaves Anna Waa-i-Kan websites in the trail
by Bashir Goth
This short piece was written on the 1st anniversary of the Somali website WardherNews

There is a Somali wisdom that divides men into six categories:
Nin Rag ah iyo Rag kalkaal, Rife iyo Rife Kalkaal, Abeeso laa iyo Ana waa i kan, to explain the riddle, it means Nin Rag ah (or a Real Man) is a man of initiatives who is bestowed with sound judgment and clear vision; a man whose ideas and proposals lead the clan to peace and prosperity.

Rag Kalkaal or supporter of the Real Man is an honest man with good conscience who can appreciate and support the man of ideas and stand by him.
Rife or shredder is one who tries to kill all good endeavors and pokes holes into every good idea; a man who is inhabited by evil demons and cannot stand to see good taking root in the society.

Rife-kalkaal or shredder supporter is a man who is always ready to support the destructive ideas of Rife.

Abeeso laa or snake-killer, in the traditional Somali nomad and rural culture, is the cobbler man who makes and mends shoes, or the artisan who makes handicrafts. Due to the nature of their work, these skilled men always practice their trade at the family camp or abode. Therefore, they became handy whenever the women of the clan encountered a danger such as snakes. These men are called for to help to kill the snakes, thus came their name snake-killer.

Anna Waa i kan, or here I am too, is a man with low intelligence but lucky to be married to an intelligent woman. She keeps her eyes and ears open and whenever she comes to know that the men of the clan had met and decided to raise funds for a cause, she would send her husband with his contribution in hand and tell him to go to the meeting and tell them that you were there too to pay your share. He then would then go and say, " I am here too."

A time when our religion belonged to us

by Bashir Goth
To my Son

My Son, with great pride and delight I can tell you that growing up in Somaliland was full of fun and excitement and the most exciting month of all was Ramadan. In our village of Dilla where I grew up, and in every village of Somaliland, the excitement used to start in the evening of the first day of Ramadan. With everyone filled with the urge and expectation to be the first to spot the crescent of the new moon, people of the village rushed to open areas and higher altitudes on the outskirts of the village to participate in the great search for the Ramadan moon.

Once the Ramadan crescent was spotted “Bileey bil khayr ...” resonated through the whole crowd with the children singing all the way back to the village, "bileey bil khayr... bileey bil kheyr ..."

This article which appeared elsewhere under the title "The spirit of Ramadan and Eid in Somaliland before the advent of Wahhabism" was the one of the most discussed articles in the Australian Opiniononline.