By Nelsonmayor Makur Wel
OPINION – In Dinka culture, it’s an abomination to eat in your in-laws’ house before proper arrangements are made. But I did it in 2011, should I, be called Akech Agut-lith (violator of the custom of not eating in your in-laws’ house), exactly no. it was the same culture that confused me to eat in my in-laws’ house, because the same culture says, if anyone died before getting marriage, a wife will be married for him; for children bear his/her name. Dear ladies don’t misquote me, I’m still single.
It was 2011 when I was a pupil of St. Daniel Comboni Primary in Yirol, I made friendship with Kulang in the school. One Friday after schooling hours, he told me to visit him over weekend, I was excited and said yes. The same Friday in the evening, I met my lady friend called Josephine Ayen Maker and told her that I will pay a visit tomorrow. She told me that her brother has a visitor tomorrow and that there will be no time, better next week. I said okay, little did I know that, I’m her brother’s visitor.
On Saturday morning, I prepared myself to go to my friend’s house. I went alone because Bulis Malou Manyuat my cousin whom we were staying together, went with Fr. Joseph Parlade to Billing chapel Sunday prayers. Once reached my friend’s house, he was very happy and received me with joyed, while her sister was in kitchen cooking.
That day, I came to know that when in Yirol no need of looking for another heaven, it’s heaven of itself. It’s blessed with people and resources. That day was really great, in room as a visitor, I can see the smell of fish let alone smelling it.
Now something unexpected happened, my friend went to his sister in the kitchen and tell her to bring water for a visitor, little did my friend know that his sister is lady friend to his visitor. The fine young lady came with a glass of water, hmm, once seeing me, the lady was shocked and glass of water felled down on her hands. His brother was very angry for embarrassment and wanted to beat her.
While unknowingly sweat came out of me in quantities and mood has changed. I calmed down her brother, and requested her to leave us and she went out crying. I asked my friend, who is this girl to you? She is my sister, he said. Again, I asked, why do you carry different fathers’ names, if you’re siblings? He answered me with questions, do know her before? Do you know her name?
I said, yes. He was surprised and said, actually, my mother was married for a dead, and as a man I took the name of my dead dad that’s why I’m Kulang Malual, while my sister took the name of my living dad (uncle) that’s why her name is Josephine Ayen Maker.
When hearing this! I took a great minute of silent and in my heart, I was saying what a fake and useless culture? Sweat was increasing. Why are you silent? Are you okay? My friend asked. I said, dear friend I’m really confused. Why? He asked. I said, your sister is my girlfriend to be sincere, and I never knew she is your sister and I’m sorry for this. He said, it’s okay. And this where I knew Kulang internal personalities, because in other word it’s abomination to tell someone that your sister is my girlfriend directly. That day if Kulang was not having good personalities, he would has end up beating me. But Kulang knew, it was not intentional, but confusion from cultures.
Thing became complicated now, because culture say, you don’t eat in your in-laws’ house, both I and my friend knew this. What can we do now? He asked me. I said, please let your sister be with us, and his sister was called in. We were only 3 inside in the room her, his brother and me, and I narrated everything to her, and finally I said, I can’t run two things right now, you as my girlfriend and you as my friend.
I will go on with your brother as my friend and you will be my sister just. Once Kulang heard this, he disagreed and said that, he cannot take his happiness more than his sister and he encouraged me to go on with his sister while he will be an in-law. We disagreed on this point for long.
This is where I acknowledged the wisdom of the women, their mother (Kulang and Ayen) detected the problem and she came in by herself and said my children, you have been in for so long, what is the problem? She asked. All of us (children) kept quiet. She mentioned her son (Kulang), what is the problem? Kulang narrated everything to her, and he said, if Nelson continues with my sister as friends, he will not eat here while I invited him, because culture forbid to eat in your in-laws’ house. Nelson suggested to continue with me and leave my sister, I can’t take happiness of my sister, that’s a problem, and he told his mom.
His mom told her daughter to leave us, and said you see my sons, cultures are made. I can’t say one should be stop, but all can go on and my son Nelson can eat, her son said, how? Culture forbids, and its abomination. My children, she said. You don’t know what a future hold. Just accept my advice, because if you stop one you may end up losing both. We accepted it, and I enjoyed my in-laws’ food against Dinka culture, but remember I’m not Akech Agut-Lith.
After this and next weekend, I went to my father Makur’ Ajiinygol in a village called Abelmathon near Gutyimur village of Yirol East. And asked him, where did Dinka get this culture of not eating your in-laws’ house? He said, it’s a culture we inherited from our forefathers. Longtime ago, he continued, when one date a girl in area e.g. Aliap, you will not eat in that community until proper arrangements are made. And now it seems its changing. Can it be changed? I asked, he said no.
I came back to Yirol town on Sunday evening, and since I wanted know to exactly, where this Dinka get these cultures from? I first asked myself, where did Dinka get a culture of marrying for the dead? I became bookworm because of this.I read many books, and I found out that Dinka are Jews for Sadducees group, ref: Matthew 22:23-31. Dinka married many wives, and are strong. Since we are now Jews under Sadducees group. We inherited culture of married from Abijah who married 14 wives and had 22 sons and 16 daughters, ref: 2 Chronicles 13:21. I discovered Dinka are Romans, read Romans 7:2-3.
I went on with both, and some years (2018-19) later, lost boy of Sudan came opened my farm and took her away. And this is where, I began to respect the wisdom of women, her mom words, and “if you stop one, you may end up losing both.”
Women are really intelligent. Dinka cultures need modifications and edition.
The author is a concerned citizen of South Sudan and a member of the Dinka Community. He is a 5th year student of pharmacy at Mizan-Tepi University in Ethiopia and is reachable via: nmmakur.wel2012gmail.com.
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