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Knowing Nelson Mandela – A long Walk to freedom

I have recently finished Nelson Mandela’s book – “A Long Walk to Freedom” .

I was born on the eighteenth of July, 1918, at Mvezo, a tiny village on the banks of the Mbashe River in the district of Umtata, the capital of the Transkei. All told, my father had four wives, the third of whom, my mother, Nosekeni Fanny, the daughter of Nkedama from the amaMpemvu clan of the Xhosa, belonged to the Right Hand House.

In African culture, the sons and daughters of one’s aunts or uncles are considered brothers and sisters, not cousins. We do not make the same distinctions among relations practiced by whites. We have no half brothers or half sisters. My mother’s sister is my
mother; my uncle’s son is my brother; my brother’s child is my son, my daughter.

In the hut in which we slept, there was no furniture in the Western sense. We slept on mats and sat on the ground. I did not discover pillows until I went to Mqhekezweni.

I was no more than five when I became a herd-boy, looking after sheep and calves in the fields. I discovered the almost mystical attachment that the Xhosa have for cattle, not only as a source of food and wealth, but as a blessing from God and a source of
happiness. It was in the fields that I learned how to knock birds out of the sky with a slingshot, to gather wild honey and fruits and edible roots, to drink warm, sweet milk straight from the udder of a cow, to swim in the clear, cold streams, and to catch fish with twine and sharpened bits of wire. I learned to stick-fight — essential knowledge to any rural African boy — and became adept at its various
techniques, parrying blows, feinting in one direction and striking in another, breaking away from an opponent with quick footwork. From these days I date my love of the veld,of open spaces, the simple beauties of nature, the clean line of the horizon.

I learned my lesson one day from an unruly donkey. We had been taking turns climbing up and down its back and when my chance came I jumped on and the donkey bolted into a nearby thornbush. It bent its head, trying to unseat me, which it did, but not before the thorns had pricked and scratched my face, embarrassing me in front of my friends.

On the first day of school, my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name and said that from thenceforth that was the name we would answer to in school. This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly due to the British bias of our education. The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior.

There was no such thing as African culture.

Africans of my generation — and even today — generally have both an English and an African name. Whites were either unable or unwilling to pronounce an African name, and considered it uncivilized to have one. That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why she bestowed this particular name upon me I have no idea.Perhaps it had something to do with the great British sea captain Lord Nelson, but that would be only a guess.




Celebrating Sindh Festival.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s initiative to celebrate Sindh Festival is very timely decision, which was much needed to secure the heritage for whom archaeologists say is 5000 years old.

Being Sindhi means universal. Sindhis are living across the seven continents of the world. No matter they are from Pakistan, India or United States of America, they have same type of love for their motherland. This identity and shared culture make Sindhis to work together for the betterment of Sindhi language and preservation of its culture.

Before Bilawal Bhutto, there was a perception that there is no one who can take the stand on preservation of Sindhi culture and heritage. It was also a wide known belief that the main stream media in Pakistan that is Non-Sindhi will never give space to Sindhi Culture and to bolster making people aware of the danger their heritage is at risk of.

But due to Bilawal Bhutto’s influence and his position he has made it possible to grab the attention of the national and international media to focus this issue which was slowly but continuously fading out before our very eyes.

Bilawal Bhutto has also proved that no doubt he lived and was educated in foreign lands but his love for Sindh and its culture is as fresh and real as like any ordinary Sindhi person has for his land. That he understands his roots and has been inculcated well about his being Sindhi by Mohatarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari.

Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley civilization is known as Pre-Aryan Civilization. The main occupation of the people the Indus valley civilization was agriculture. The Indus valley people knew the use of Gold, silver, copper and bronze but as per the findings they were not familiar with the use of iron metal.

For nearly 3,700 years people never knew that under the mound lies a great civilization. It was discovered in 1922 By Rakhaldas who was an officer in Archaeological Department. Again in 1930 a round of massive excavation was executed at the site by John Marshall. After the completion of this phase of excavation it was again undertook by Ahmed Hassan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler in 1945.

Mohenjo-daro has a planned layout grounded on a street grid of rectilinear edifices. Most of them were ramped up by fired and mortared bricks.

Some integrated sun-dried mud-brick and wooden superstructures. Estimates regarding population of this city says that nearly 40,000 residents were living here. The sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities, suggests a high level of social organization. The city is divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. The Citadel – a mud-brick mound around 12 meters (39 ft) high – is known to have supported public baths, a large residential structure designed to house about 5,000 citizens, and two large assembly halls.

Still there is so much that is unrelieved about Moen-Jo-Daro. About it scripts of writing are to be deciphered and hope one day we all will be able to understand what these script say and there will be many more doors open upon us and make us able to be more closer to our heritage and culture.

Sindh Festival – for love of Sindh and its culture will be in its full swing from February 01, 2014 to February 15, 2014. This is just the beginning and hope there is much more that will be explored and rejoiced under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and President Asif Ali Zardari.

Long Live Sindh – Long Live Bhutto.

 Marso, Marso Sindh Na Deson. #SindhFest