A song for life

about 2 years ago
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Have you ever heard of an African tribe by the name of Himba? Most likely not. We all have heard of only one tribe – Masai. But this tribe of Africa is unique and teaches us an invaluable lesson of life.

The Himba tribe lives in the harsh weather of the Namibian desert and have a very recluse, extreme life. The women there, twice in a day cover their body with red clay and they are thus recognized as ‘red women’. But these women teach us more than anything which technology or new age schools can teach.

Here, the women do not count the age of the child from the day it is born but from the day when they first get the thought of having a child. When the women thinks that she is ready, she sits quietly, ponders over it and tries to listen to the song of the child which wants to come. Its not literal music but something which her heart says and its associated with the child. So while she is pregnant, she constantly sings the song that the baby in the womb knows that its his/her song. She teaches the song to the midwife and other old women who sing it the moment the child is born. She then teaches the song to the villagers, who sing it every time the child achieves something or even hurts its knee. And when the child grows and if he/she commits a crime, the villagers gather around him/her and sing the same song. They believe that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. The tribe feels that when you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And this is what we city dwellers need to learn from these simple, illiterate people. Having a song which is you is like being in tune with oneself. And having this balance, this tune of life is probably the highest form of living.

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