Friday, June 22, 2007

Kunta Kinte

For those who are as old as I am (or older) , you might remember Kunta Kinte from the popular TV series Roots, aired in the 80s. However, rest assured, today I am not going to write about the character Kunta Kinte, the man symbolic to the era of slavery. I'm just playing around with the title as I'm merely dwelling on the idea of establishing one's roots.

Earlier today, I had written an email to a friend (in response to his), regarding the importance of culture and knowing one's roots. Pretty ironic for one who doesn't really know which 'suku' she belongs to! After writing about 5-6 paragraphs long, I decided to delete everything for fear of sending the wrong idea across. Instead, I kept the introductory paragraph and hit the send button.

In my humble opinion, culture is important as it builds one's character. Nevertheless, holding on too much to one's own culture narrows down the possibility of personal development and general growth. But does it make culture altogether bad?

Sometimes when you get to pause long enough to take a glimpse around you, you're able to detect the irony of life. The westerns, who don't have much culture to hold on to, never fail to be amused by the colourful and exotic culture of others in developing or third world countries: the Bushmen stalking in the Kalahari Desert, the Thai performing dancing the Khon dance in unity, or the Orientals eating with chopsticks in street stalls. They get excited wearing batik sarongs along the sandy beaches we have, and have a taste of hot and spicy local cuisines. Despite all this, the developing nation work on becoming more 'developed' and modern.

I think culture is fine as long as one is willing to merge it into the evolving world. Culture can be retained while the mindset has to be set free: free within its limits. What's so important about a tree well rooted into the ground? Well, sometimes even trees can be uprooted when a hurricane hits, eh?
Care to pause and reflect??

13 comments:

Mama Sarah said...

i remember my mom and aunts watching Roots. i only remember a piece of lawak (don't ask me where I read it from!)

yang bunyinya lebih kurang begini;
seorang guru BM bertanya kepada setiap muridnya seorang demi seorang untuk memberi perkataan berganda. Maka setiap pelajarnya bangun memberi jawapan:
rumput-rampai, gunung-ganang, gelap gelita, kering kontang...

tiba giliran Mamat(bukan nama asal), Mamat dengan konfidennya menjawab "kunta-kinte".

rara avis said...

hmm I disagree D. Reckon that the westerns have abundance of culture -its just that theirs have become the norm in todays world. them embracing other cultures are I believe, a result of their being confident and open enough to want to experience all...

rara

idham said...

D...:)

wah D...from kunta-kinte to botany..to culture...and to hurricane....hehehehe, what a diversity of subjects you have covered here ....

Budaya kita banyak jugak yang melalaikan....and I think we are at a phase in time where cross-cultural polination is happening more freely than we are ready for.

I agree fully with u on letting go some of our budaya and also in letting our mind free...infact I will go one step further, by not setting an artificial boundary to the minds ....let them roam freely .... for us Muslims, our boundary are the Quran and the Sunnahs...

idham

D said...

mamasarah,
perkataan berganda? LOL. That was the impact of the film on youngsters, eh?

rara,
thanks for sharing your thoughts. Guess you are right, "theirs have become the norm in todays world" that they explore others' with confidence. Does that mean we're not confident with ours to experience anything different? (ooo.. i should be careful when addressing one who has experienced a lot here!!)

Idham,
what more can I say to the Traveller? Well said. The Quran and sunnah should help us define our culture. Thank you for reflecting.

loveujordan said...

Kunta-kinte memang takkan luput dalam ingatan, masa sekolah dulu pernah guna kisah cerita ni dalam debate tajuk " TV cencorship... fair/unfair ?? " sebab banyak jugak adegan yang ditapis dari cerita ni based on the book we read , tapi kami kalah , kami di side yang kata unfair dan opponent kami dari STAR.

Akar budaya kita especially bangsa melayu sememangnya berbeza -beza kerana rumpun yang sama tetapi suku kaum yang berbeza, my sister buat kertas kerja masa di IPT cari keturunan abah(RAJA), salahsilah abah sampai sekarang I sendiri tak pasti ( keluarga di raja dulu-dulu paling complicated !! )but one thing I know, manusia boleh hidup tanpa budaya dan macam cakap idham peganglah pada apa yang Nabi saw tinggalkan pada kita...

panjang komen den.... my hubby dari suku kaum tigo nenek, macam kaklong tu ha :)

rara avis said...

yaah, i guess thats what i am saying: those who are not willing to be open to the culture of others for fear of losing their own essentially dont have the confidence of their own...


i am not sure about experiencing alot ;)

~ahni~ said...

Budaya tak salah, selagi tak terpesong dari akidah dan ajaran Islam. Sayangnya ramai yang menganggap budaya atau amalan turun temurun sebagai ajaran Islam dan bukan senang nak convinve dia org ni terutamanya kalau orang yang menegur tu bukan ustaz/ustazah. Kadang2 tu ustaz/ustazah tegur pun dituduhnya memberi ajaran sesat.

Zakiah said...

ohkay...this kunta kinte definitely bukan era i lar...hehehe. Tapi pernah la jugak terdengar pasal kunta kinte nih...

13may said...

errr....kunta kinte tu hapa???
tak tau la background dia....

bluewonder said...

d,
On the topic of roots, i have to admit i know very little abt mine. It's a shame..as i think it's important to know where one comes from.

A pet project of mine is to try and come up with a family tree of my keturunan. Kena buat cpt2 while the elders are still around and can furnish me wth the relevant info. Tak taulah bila boleh complete. Wish me luck!

MINAH CELOTEH said...

Kunta Kinte, sape yg boleh lupa. I tink its 1 of those popular shows back then. With all the modernisation going on, 'mix' marriages...its quite difficult to really go back to our roots.
*Kes betul2 nak kena trace family tree, tengok mana 1 akar yg paling kukuh*

Darling said...

pernah dengar orang sebut 'kunta kinte' tapi tak tahu lak ada cerita tu. err dalam around tahun berapa ye?

rasanya i pun dah tua dah hihihi

Ungku Nor said...

Budaya, adat resam, pantang larang.

Tak ambil peduli, tak boleh.
Terlalu obses pun tak boleh.

Salam D, lama tak jengah kat sini.