Sunday, 29 July 2012

Opinion: It Is A Sacrilege To Dance Publicly With Broom In Ondo Communities

Kayode Ajulo
By Kayode Ajulo

It is a taboo and indeed a sacrilege to dance around with broom (instead of horse tail -"irukere") in open in most of the ancient towns and communities in Ondo State.

A taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behaviour is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake, under threat of supernatural punishment.

Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies.

The word has been somewhat expanded in the social sciences to include strong prohibitions relating to any area of human activity or custom that is sacred or forbidden based on moral judgment and religious beliefs.

"Breaking a taboo" is usually considered objectionable by society in general, not merely a subset of a culture.

The rise of rationalism and science has reduced the potency of many former taboos in modern cultures. In the United States and Europe, people openly discuss and explore previously taboo subjects such as sexuality and abortion. Increasing understanding has led medical disorders such as epilepsy, birth defects, and sexually transmitted diseases to be treated more analytically and less judgmentally than in the past.

I am a Christian, an Anglican by birth, I believe in the Trinity and that Christ is my Saviour, but I cannot be detached from my culture. We cannot run from our background.

However, changing social customs and standards also create new taboos, such as bans on slavery; conflation of ephebophilia with pedophilia; prohibitions on alcohol, tobacco, or psycho pharmaceutical consumption (particularly among pregnant women); and the employment of politically correct euphemisms – at times quite unsuccessfully – to mitigate various forms of discrimination.

Incest itself has been pulled both ways, with some seeking to normalize consensual adult relationships regardless of the degree of kinship (notably in Europe) and others expanding the degrees of prohibited contact (notably in the United States).

Contemporary multicultural societies have established a number of taboos rooted in the perceived injustice and deleterious effects of modern history, particularly neo-colonialism. Tribalism (for example, ethnocentrism and nationalism) and prejudices (racism, sexism, religious extremism) are opposed at times reflexively despite the potentially high cost of diverse societies in terms of trust and solidarity.

I am not targeting this against anyone or group but it is expected as a community leader and social activist that we remind ourselves not to offend the sensibility of our people. It is therefore my hope that our elders, security agents and custodians of our customs and traditions will do the needful in the circumstance.

(Ajulo is a Lawyer and the Bamofinlewe of Akurekingdom)

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