Five positive African rituals the western media will never talk about

Nduta Waweru Sep 11, 2018 at 09:00am

September 11, 2018 at 09:00 am | Culture

Nduta Waweru

Nduta Waweru | Contributor

September 11, 2018 at 09:00 am | Culture

Photo: Unesco

Empaako

This is a naming ritual practised by the Batooro, Banyoro, Batuku, Batagwenda and Banyabindi in Uganda, where children are given a pet name.  The names are selected from a set of twelve names shared across the communities. The giving of empaako not only shows love and endearment but as a sign of respect. It is also for salutation and used by children to refer to their parents and elders.  It can also be used in diffusing tension and reconciliation in conflict.

During the naming ceremony, the child is received by the paternal aunts and examined. Any similarity with existing relatives will influence the choice of empaako. Once it is decided, the clan head declares the name and a ceremony involving sharing meal of millet and smoked beef and presentation of gifts follows. A tree in honour of the child is also planted.

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