Freddie's Corner


Waiting for the 'good end' in Africa

20-12-2023 by Freddie del Curatolo

It will be a good Christmas.
It is not so much to remember Jesus, who is worshipped here distractedly but snootily all year round, as the emblem of a purity and goodness that can never belong to human beings and especially as the bearer of forgiveness for women, who almost always do not need it, and for men who almost always need an alibi.

It will be a good Christmas because it has rained a lot and in a little while the corn can be harvested.
Waiting for maize is like waiting for Christmas; for once, and in Africa it is rare, you can be sure it will come.
In these parts we usually live (and die) on the anticipation of waiting, which then often remains so.

There will be distant relatives, they will return with increasingly empty pockets, and at least the old parents, left behind in their native village, will have a nice plate of steaming polenta to offer them, hoping that a new Chinese utensil, a not excessively acrylic blanket, and the smile of a new grandchild will arrive in return.

There will be a goat to slaughter, because here being vegan is not a choice, it is a necessity most of the year, but when there is a wedding, a funeral or a commanded feast, find me an African who will be squeamish or get uptight about matters of principle.
There will be artisanal schnapps, and let someone check the fermentation, mind you.
Because at every party there are those who lose half their diopters or their whole liver, and join the teenage girls who lose their virginity and too often their schooling because they get pregnant.

There will be sermons from the smartest people in the village, who will soon run for county council, and if they make promises, they will be gifts no one can unwrap.
Then the collection for the best students of the past year to be sent to a college, the announcement of upcoming arranged marriages, that of the bride's parents' request for a dowry.

Finally, there will be singing all together in little churches, big rooms, sheet metal hangars. Wherever the most welcome guests of Christmas may enter, those who peep in every Sunday of the year: cheerfulness, hope and sharing.
All together will celebrate the anticipation of nothing gone right, which is the least one hopes to say about life.

TAGS: Nataleraccontoshamba

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