The marriage between religion and culture.

The heart series

Busisiwe Kamolane (22)

“I believe there were many other stories of powerful women in the bible that were left untold”- Busisiwe

I grew up in a very cultural household, yes growing up I went to church every Sunday with my mother however it had no meaning for me. Half of the time I was asleep during the service, and not until I left home for varsity did I start to develop my own Christian journey.

It hasn’t been easy more specifically because of my family and beliefs I grew up with,being told to let go of everything my parents had taught me. It lead me to many questions, about whether religion and culture co-exist? And weather they have both been contributors to many social ills that largely effect women today.

I often speak to Busisiwe about spirituality and guidance in my Christian path, and we both agree that religion and culture have a few similarities. “The majority of bible stories tell of great prophets, leaders being men but you only  find a few stories of powerful women. More than anything prayerful women like Hanna who prayed to God for a child”. Busi continues to explain that women were warriors in prayer, they had an intense desire for God.

She also concurs that culture is also catalyst to women’s oppression. “Back in the day men were everything and women were treated as children , women didn’t even have contractual capacity”. And in many ways we have accepted a lot of cultural practices without questioning them.

Such as the concept of lobola, Busi questions why lobola isn’t paid for men, because to us it sounds bizarre that a man’s capacity to be scrutized for their ability to raise children, how educated he is and whether he is a virgin or not would be questioned.

It is quite evident that  because of the similarities, religion and culture can co-exist, however as Busi says ” In Christianity and culture we believe that the man is the leader of the household, almost the priest of the home. However I don’t think religion and culture can co-exist without conflict”. My conversation with Busi has made me realize that not only is it difficult to separate myself my religion and culture, but that it is also difficult to clearly determine what my role is in both spectrums.

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May love, peace and grace be upon you.

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