My time at the Reconcile Peace Institute stretched the boundaries of my mind- not only in learning about peacemaking but also in understanding the minds of my Sudanese colleagues. Each day I discovered something new about their tribes and cultures by hearing their opinions and even how they express themselves. In the next few days, I will post some things my colleagues said that made me take a moment to ponder.
Below is the representation of the different tribes in my class. The Kakwa are well represented, since the class is being held in their traditional homeland, but the biggest tribes in Southern Sudan are the Dinka and Nuer. You will note that I am included in the list as a “Scottish American.” My classmates helped me determine which was my tribe by first learning the tribes my father descended from and then choosing which of those tribes gave me my family name.
9 Kakwa 3 Murle
3 Anyuak 3 Dinka
2 Nuer 2 Acholi
2 Zande 1 Shilluk
1 Pojulu 1 Avukaya
1 Baka 1 Mundu
1 Lotuko 1 Scottish American
“[Culture and tradition] cannot be negotiated or violated. The only way is to do what it requires.”
“Ours is a very good culture, but this civilization, the western ideas, have come in to cause confusion. They are disturbing us. Before, we could marry girls of 8, 10, or even 11 years, whenever she can conceive… This western issue become a problem. It’s a fight. I don’t know who will win, really.”
“Sometimes cultures are good. Sometimes cultures bring conflict.”
“There are some elements in the culture that are completely bad. We the people must change those things.”