A couple of days ago, I posted a picture of my homemade supper on face book with the following description:
Atap (sorghum and cassava meal) and akiring (smoked beef)na esudud (in groundnuts sauce) cooked Teso style. Supper is ready.
The response was amazing and generally of affirmation from Iteso (the people) that are living in Uganda and in the Diaspora; and from others non-Iteso and also non-Ugandan. A gross total of 100 likes. The comments were awesome – they ranged in different variations of “am salivating”; “I miss home food”; “Woooooow”, etc.
But then there were a couple of comments which stopped me in my reading trucks – aaaah kind of thing. One commenter asked “wat z dat?” (copied verbatim). Fact is am a cultural anthropologist and I easily take offense by those who disrespect other peoples’ languages.
Be that as it may, I wondered about the mental facilities of the man who asked such a question. Considering he was not the first to comment and that there were other comments already made, which clearly explained what the post was about, why did he have to ask that question?
Then another man – etesot (an individual male from among Iteso), I presumed, for his comment was in Ateso (the language) – commented as follows: “esil itap ngin. Tekei!!!!” meaning: “thatatap is ugly. Gosh!!!!”
Yes, I was totally shocked by his ill-manners. I was raised in Teso culture which finds public criticism of another’s food absolutely unacceptable. That this man thought it was okay for him to post his negative views of my food on a public forum such as face book leaves me dumbfounded.
Where do his ill-manners come from? Is he a father? Is he an uncle? What values is he teaching the next generation that is in contact with him? I wondered. Most importantly and sadly I thought how so deeply some are negatively elitist and culturally dislocated.
Or is it perhaps that whole PhD symdrome thing – you know the Pull her Down one?