Review: A look at violence in public spaces
‘Calling into question the Chivahnu of public spaces’ is an article I wrote highlighting my personal experiences of public shaming and humiliation in public spaces. As someone who has directly faced a lot of aggression directed at me in public and in recounting this experiences, I try to create a space for reflection and of course discussion.
One element I find from my culture in Zimbabwe which encourages RESPECT among people is called in Shona ‘Chivahnu’.
This is a normal system of ‘do unto others what you want to be done to you’ . One fine example is called ‘Kutanda botso’, where a child who has physically assaulted or verbally insulted their mother spends a year in rags asking for grains from people to brew beer in appeasement.
As much as it is a basic social construction on crime and punishment, it also offers the space for conciliatory actions, there is room for CONFRONTATION, DISCUSSION and afterwards RESOLUTION, which in the past was done before a tribal king at a ‘Dare’ which means Court in English.
CHIVAHNU, as the moral and social code of my society, is not only secluded towards the regulation of behavior, but withing it are communal activities that bring together young and old in celebration, in remembrance of those dead and in planning for the future.
In this sense, the idea of family is spread beyond the Ego to include everyone else regardless of their background, belief or origin.
Click on the link below to read the full article on online journal Povo: