Support The PFDJ, Your Regime
Some people hate others with passion. They don’t like them criticizing or opposing the regime they support, the PFDJ, the single, unelected party ruling Eritrea. But when the regime aggresses on the rights of the citizens, they turn a blind eye. There are two sides and for fairness, one side is either wrong or right. The PFDJ lots are either wrong, or wrong. That’s why I am repenting and submitting to the PFDJ: Yesterday it was PFDJ, today it is PFDJ and tomorrow it will still be PFDJ! I am hoping that pledge of allegiance will change the situation.
Anyone who repents can walk into any restaurant; a reward of free dinner awaits you, just tell them Uncle Saleh sent you. But be careful from blindingly bright colors, especially red and yellow. Some people think like bulls; they might think you are matadors and attack you. And they are always angry, I don’t understand why!
Lullabies and Children games
I remembered a game we used to play as children and the rough translation of the game is “Guess, Bolts or Nuts”?
Children sit in a circle and take turns bowing down on their knees touching the ground with his head, like a praying posture. The children agree to put their hands on the bowing child’s back and chant, msmar wela Halega (nuts or bolts): thumbs up (bolts), clenched fist (nuts). If the child guesses right, he is relieved and another child takes his place, and the guessing game continues. Wrong guess means all the children’s’ fists land of his back. Some naughty children would hit the child so hard with their knuckles that some leave the game crying.
I was good in that game and I usually guessed right, at least on the second or third round, if not at the first. That was before I learned about the rule of probability though I was too bad at math (it had to do with a distraction, Miss Ligaya Villanueva, our beautiful Filipina teacher). My uncle had told me about the 50-50 changes of guessing and consistency. It worked though in the beginning I didn’t believe him.
Twins in Traditional Stories
Twin-opposite themes are common in many cultures around the world—black and white, up and down, rich and poor, tall and short, etc. And memory lane took me to Tweedledum and Tweedledee, which was the title of an article I wrote 17 years ago, which became the source for today’s topic.
Overtime, Tweedledum and Tweedledee became a nursery rhyme, and it is in books, movies, cartoons, etc. Then I remembered the movie Dumb and Dumber, a 1994 movie; it’s not old enough to be considered a tradition. but no problem, it describes the Eritrean situation. Finally, I remembered some Eritrean equivalents of all the above.
There’s a nursing rhymes in Tigrayit but I could only remember a few lines of it: Hoooha, hoooha, mn bkayka seHaqka enfete… (Rock baby, we love your giggles, not your crying, we love you singing, not your crying… You repeat that ten-times and guaranteed the baby will doze off. Try it, it even works on adults.
Finally, I remembered a mysterious lyric that not many remember let alone understand. I wonder if anyone could remember more of it and is what language the words are!
Nora could be an ancient kingdom, a dynasty, extinct people, so could be Qora, I am not sure. Maybe it’s our version of Romeo and Juliet, or Geith we’Leila. I hope someone finds its origin—this could be thesis for a degree project… is anyone interested to do the research? Here is the lyrics to the rhyme:
msqor, gondo gondo
sanday, sanday lema
kifle, kifle lqqi
sebar Ayni brki
wsa’e wedi Haqqi
I took you through all that journey because I want you to remember the last line, wsae wedi Haqi (Show yourself if you are truthful), and I am proposing the following:
Let’s gather all the senior officers of the PFDJ to play msmar wela Halega. If they guess wrong, we hit them hard until they cry and leave the game. If they guess right, we take them to round two of the game. Of course, only a few will guess right, either by luck or they’re intelligent enough to know the rule of probability… we move them to round two which is not self-managed.
In round two, we bring an exorcist, (Tebib, Shehertay). And he deals with them because they are possessed by an evil spirit. And all the time the exorcists make them sing, Lqqi Chfliqi, WsaE wedi haqi, Lqqi Chfliqi, WtsaE wedi haqi. Then the exorcist gets angry and helps some officers find the goodness in them and sing: ane wedi haqqi eyye, ane weddi haqi eyye (I am truthful, I am truthful). Well, if they are deqi Haqqi, they must know what to do next and we allow them to go out of the exorcism room to do what they must do.
As a child I have seen a few exorcism exercises and I know how it works.
Once a poor woman became sick and her neighbors were convinced, she was possessed by an evil spirit and brough an exorcist to be. The man held her hands and twisted it:
“Who are you?”
“I am Italian,” the women said.
The people there, insisted it was the possessor speaking through the mouth of the possessed woman. She spoke gibberish, but again they insisted it was Italian though none of them could tell Italian from Greek.
“I command you to get out leave the woman, now” the exorcist roared.
“I can’t, I love here!”
“Then I will deal with you properly” and he slapped the women.
After a long time, she said (apparently on behalf of the Italian possessor), “alright, I am leaving her.”
“Where are you exiting from?”
“Thorough the door.”
“Hehe, don’t play games with me, the door is closed.”
“Anta gdefeni, leave me alone”
“First tell me where you are exiting from?”
[something about spirit traffic laws: a spirit can only exit the body through the tip of the thumb!]
“By the thumb”
By then the exorcist had her thumb locked between his thumb knuckle and his pointer finger. That’s very painful and a good self-defense tactic…
[interruption: the Japanese and the Chinese have Kungfu and Karate, we have the thumb-squeeze, and we should promote it as an Eritrean self-defense technic, internationally.]
Finally, it seems the spirit left the poor, sweat-drenched women. She collapsed.
Going back to the PFDJ officers….
We tell them, if they do not do their job, all the crown corks on their shoulders will be taken away, not as a threat but as a motivation. And we warn them, next time they may have to deal with a force who do not fancy children’s’ games, like nuts and bolts.
See, that is the story of how I reconciled with the PFDJ—thinking about it—why did I have to fight them anyway, it was unnecessary, though now I know it’s not their mistake—the poor guys are possessed by an evil spirit, they need an exorcist not an enemy.
But then, I have grievances: the PFDJ uprooted me from my habitat, from my memories and from the shade of the Neem trees, and from Ajak’s teashop; that is why I oppose them. So, since we are surrounded by Liqqi Chjfliqqi, and they cannot understand the basic concepts like justice, freedom, why don’t we all tell them in simple language, like lullaby words?
Remember, you must explain your grievances in simple language that their simple minds can understand! Let’s leave the more sophisticated demands to the top echelon of the clique, not the officers that will play the msmaar wella halega game. Justice and freedom are too complex ideas for the PFDJ brutes to understand. That’s why I watered down my demands and grievances and simplified them into basic ideas of life—a shade of the Neem Trees, that they must understand. And that is why I want them gone so that me and hundreds of thousands of other Eritreans can go to that very shady place under the Neem Tree and sip tea and relive their memories–is that too much to ask?