Our house mama had something a bit like a second wedding this weekend. We were honoured to participate and excited to learn about this aspect of Tanzanian culture. Every wedding may not be exactly like this, but here’s some of what we observed: Read more
Posts tagged ‘cross-cultural’
1. It is cold. I think this is because all white people come from Europe. People often ask us if we are coping with the heat. They are very surprised when we tell them that Australia is hotter than Tanzania and when they worry about us getting burnt because of our white skin we tell them about Australia’s ozone hole.
2. There are lots of Christians. This may be because many white people in Tanzania are missionaries. Many Tanzanians are shocked to hear of dying churches and the low numbers of churchgoers in Australia. This actually opens up wonderful opportunities for us to encourage Tanzanians that Australian Christians have much to learn from them.
3. Men and women share housework and childcare. This is kind of a half-truth. Some men are involved in childcare in Australia, but women still bear the brunt of both housework and childcare, even if they work and even if their marriage claims to be egalitarian. One thing I often point out is that many women feel subject to public scrutiny and condemnation because of these choices.
*Obviously a generalisation and not indicative of every Tanzanian, but these are pretty common conversations that we have, even with university educated people. Much of what we do on our blog is also trying to overcome stereotypes that Australians have about Tanzanians too.
To finish off the Cooking with Tamie series (I hope you’ve enjoyed it!) here’s some of what I’ve learnt about Tanzanian cookery.
All Tanzanian food is cooked with a lot of oil and salt. Most of these dishes are cooked in saucepans. Very few people have or use ovens. Food is served in hot pots and you help yourself. Read more
Going into town for us is a matter of negotiating cars, 4WDs, carts, bikes, motorbikes and pedestrians where there are no traffic lights, zebra crossings are nominal and there aren’t really any footpaths. You can’t use a stroller and Elliot won’t tolerate being on my back anymore so there have been several times where I’ve been strongly told off because people are worried Elliot’s going to get run over.
Sometimes people just good-naturedly pick him up but yesterday I got told off. And this is where I made a cultural faux pas. An older guy told me off and I tried to explain to him about how Elliot likes to walk around and is independent and I was keeping an eye on him. When I say that kind of thing to other women, it often opens up a conversation. But this was a man. And an older one. On two fronts, I should have recognised my inferior status and just taken his advice without explaining. I should have said, ‘Asante Baba’ over and over while he told me off. Read more
I commented here that I don’t think Aussie missionaries should try to make Aussies dance like Tanzanians, but there’s something appealing about the verve of African worship, isn’t there? You may well see something in the below video from our church that you want for your church.Read more