This is my perspective on how I believe that a lack of cultural understandings may lead to more conflict and unrest in society unless we choose to come together as equals.
My birth name is Frances Caroline Polo, now known mainly as Fran/Frannie Thorburn. My roots are Ugandan (East Africa). I was born and raised here where I lived an amazing 23 years of my life. Life changed directions in 1978 when I married a Newfoundlander in Uganda and migrated to Canada. I’m mum to 3 remarkable Newfie-Gandan children and Grannie Frannie to a beautiful 12 year old granddaughter.
My life is very privileged. I am very fortunate to have lived in different cultures: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, India, Wales, England and now Canada.
I’ve also been very lucky to have been able to go back to East Africa numerous times. It’s because of these trips back I am aware of traditional cultures disappearing due to modern world influences. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that change is inevitable, that change is what makes the world go tick-tock. What I am uncomfortable about is how rapidly these changes are occurring through a sense of naivety, I believe. My belief is there’s a lack of understanding towards sacrifices and changes the modern world has made allowing the conveniences and comfortable life-style that we now expect.
What I feel is there is a belief that because we, in the modern world generally live a comfortable life. We may have 2 cars, big strong houses, in many cases not 1, but 2 or 3 TV’s, the latest techno gadgets, we’re dressed well, we travel, and we generally don’t starve. This leaves an illusion that the modern world has no serious problems. We must know what we are doing, right?!
I would like to share a couple of incidences that I experienced in Uganda that may help you see where I’m coming from.