Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another custom bites the dust


So a couple of days ago I wrote a wee thing about the people in Kapoeta, their fun, super exotic "African" dress sense and how nice it was to see that Southern Sudan does have some colorful culture.

TODAY I get a memo from the comissioner of Kapoeta saying that the following things are banned:
1. Women in tight trousers or blouses revelaing the navel.
2. Skirts above the knee
3. Men who's hair is plated (because it "makes them look like ladies")
4. Drinking except between the hours of 4 and 6 pm

And, oddly, the use of plastic bags. (Actually, that one isn't so random, Rwanda totally banned the use of plastic bags a few years ago and they search every piece of luggage that comes in looking for them. Its a litter thing).

The kicker is the last line of the decree: "We should not import other cultures which can not go with our cultures and norms."

This IS going against their cultures and norms. The freakin dress code of this tribe in the area (the Toposa, I googled it) for women in short skirts and no shirts. I mean, seriously, this is hypocrisy to an unbelievable degree. It is just an excuse to, yet again, impose hideously mysonginistic and controlling rules on the women of this country for no better reason than former rebel leaders and fighters think every random thought bubble that pops out is a pearl of undeniable wisdom.

Ok, ok, ok, I'll stop before I get arrested, but I'm telling you, they did this in Yei and they did this in Rumbek and women were horribly abused, harassed and beaten (check earlier on this blog for more stories of that).

The battle rages on.

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