Emerite Masala Kiloba FHM
The first time I had a look on the ICN Program, it sounded quiet interesting for
me, however this particular topic on the Family of Origin aroused a sense of
curiosity and question: “Learning about my African family of origin in America
which has a different way of family living?” Luckily, (fortunately) for me I did not
conclude that it will be beneficial only to some people. Because the reality
proved that, the workshop was appropriate to every one coming from any part of
the world; in the fact that each of us could place himself / herself either in Socio-centric or Ego-centric family. It was an opportunity for me as an African, being inAmerica, living with my sisters from different part of the world, to learn the otherway of family living. And I feel an invitation to be open to different interpretation of things ; for instance the sense of power, the meaning of silence, etc. are not the same in socio-centric and in Ego-centric family.
The aspect of extended family in Socio-Centric family, is very important and is
called in African Culture “UBUNTU” which encompasses the interdependence of
humans on another and the acknowledgment of one's responsibility to their fellow humans and the world around them. It is a philosophy that supports collectivism over individualism. That is why a child is not only his parents’ child, but also the whole extended family ‘child. And he may be taken care of, trained, and be
punished by anybody. The person I am today and what I bring in the community
was shaped not only by my loving parents but also by my tender aunty and my
autocratic uncle. All that influence my relationship with others. It was very interesting to listen to one another, for each of us had a sacred story to tell. We did not have perfect families, because they do not exist, our parents did what they could. May God bless them.
Coincidently, we ended our workshop on the All Souls Day. The Dominican
Sisters prepared a good prayer and a place where we put leaves under the
Cross of Our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Those leaves represented all
our beloved ones who have gone before us. It was an opportunity for us to thank our parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins who marked our lives by their examples. May their souls rest in peace.