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Ubuntú

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe.

He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first, would win the sweet fruits.  When he gave them the signal to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together.  Then they sat in a circle enjoying their treats.

When he asked them why they chose to run as a group when they could have had more fruit individually for themselves, one child spoke up and said:

“‘UBUNTÚ’, how can one be happy if all the others are sad?”

‘UBUNTÚ’ in the Xhosa culture means:

 “I am, because we are”.

 

About the Xhosa culture: 

The Xhosa people are a Bantu ethnic group of  South Africa mainly found in the Eastern and Western Cape, and in the last two centuries, throughout the southern and central-southern parts of the country. There is a small but significant Xhosa (Mfengu) community in Zimbabwe, and their language, isiXhosa, is recognised as a national language.  They are also often called the “Red Blanket People” and are of Nguni stock, like the Zulu. The name Xhosa is a generalised term for a diversity of proud clans.  Presently approximately 8 million Xhosa are distributed across the country, and the Xhosa language is South Africa’s second-most-populous home language, after the Zulu language, to which Xhosa is closely related. The Xhosa have a deep sense of community and extend a helping hand to anyone in need. The way in which food was cooked, on an open fire in a cast-iron pot, where everyone could come and help himself/herself, was indicative of their sharing nature. 

(Acknowledgements to: Wake Up World Facebook @wakeupworld and to Contemplative Monk).

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