A friend of mine recently pointed out how when walking past Java -Westlands early in the morning, you’d notice that most of the clients are of Caucasian origin or foreigners, unlike in the evenings when there would be a good number of Africans or locals. It ended up being an interesting discussion after which we concluded that it was definitely because of different cultures.
For many of the foreigners, their routine back home is probably an early morning where they would either carry breakfast to the office or have it at a restaurant near the office as they catch up with a colleague. While in the evening, it’s a rush home to have dinner with the family as early as 6pm. For the locals, it’s quite the opposite. Most have been taught, when growing up, that it’s mandatory to have breakfast at home with the family and dinner in the evening as well, though the latter has changed because of the busy life of a Nairobian; meetings after work, coffee with a potential client or catching up with a long lost friend or two who you realise may soon become a stranger and you may end up having a non-existent social life.
Speaking of catching up with friends, let’s digress and go back to the nineties a little bit. It’s hard to imagine how people did it without mobile phones. It was impossible to have ‘random’ meet-ups. Back at home we had a landline and I remember listening to my older sisters’ conversations with their friends, discussing whose party was coming up and where it would be in advance, you couldn’t afford to forget the name of the venue or directions, there were no Google maps. There was also this call box machine back in Mkomani Mombasa, near a market called Kimburi; It would take 1-shilling, 5-shilling or 10-shilling coins but sometimes would ‘swallow’ if you weren’t fast enough to dial. A few kids from the neighborhood (no pointing fingers) would make random calls to police just to see if they would pick up then run off.
Another beautiful aspect of cultural diversity is Holidays or Festive Seasons if you like. Everyone has their special day Christmas for the Christians, Eid for the Muslims, Diwali for the Hindus and so many more. The celebrations may be done slightly differently but the bottom line is bringing family together with lots of colour, sharing food and exchanging gifts. We are privileged that these holidays are recognized here by law unlike other countries where they are normal working days.
Special occasions such as weddings are celebrated in different communities in very unique ways. Just the fact that there are some unique guidelines to follow before, during and after the ceremony in each community makes it very special. Not to mention the food, every corner of our country is well known to be an expert in at least one delicacy. We also have freedom of celebrating these events almost anywhere in our beautiful environs.
Isn’t cultural diversity just beautiful? What do you enjoy most about it in Kenya? (Comment below)
These lovely photos were taken By:@NicholasBoaz At:@Arboretum, Nairobi