Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Another difference between Africa and Obrunistan

This morning I talked to two very prominent and famous people in the field of African history. Both of these historians are now emeritus, but it occurred to me today at lunch that no US scholar of their stature would ever deign to even say hello to me yet alone treat me as an equal. They just would not think it was worth their time or effort to acknowledge my existence. The longer I stay in Ghana and the more I read the more I have become aware that while there are a few exceptions that there is a very real difference in the way US and African academics think. Despite being of Obruni origin and living the first three decades of my life in Obrunistan I find the US academics to be far more alien to my own way of thinking than the Africans.


Katechon said...

In India and in Thailand I notice that adults are also very respectful of children, often talking to them as if they could understand everything, or at least talking with them for hours sometimes.

I notice also that kids play with different age groups. My boy -- 2 years old -- play soccer (foot-ball) with kids up to 12, 14.

The field is more immanent, less rigid. There are hierarchies (but it ain't the same).


As per the relation with prestigious professors, it really depends, in my experience. I've met in North America famous writers and academics willing to discuss conceps and problems, caring mainly about coherence and consistency, than about my social position and status.


It's fun to smell a wind from Afrika, reading your blog.

PS. I notice that talking about islam is a real taboo in the West. Is it the same in Africa?

J. Otto Pohl said...

There are no problems between Christians and Muslims in Ghana. Nobody here would ever shove a Muslim in front of a tro-tro like recently happened in NY subway. Also nobody seems to care that my wife is Muslim.