Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Identity Pawning"

It hit me hard
I mean real hard!

Similar to that shoe ya mama throws at you, when you did something bad, and are running for safety,but it still hits you as you round the the side of the head!
Always in the side of the head!
And you just don’t get it.
Hoyo macaan with such good precision

See it hit me hard
But square in the face this time
As little abdimalik raised his hand
“Miss. Nima?”
Another joined in
“Miss Hadji?”
Patiently waiting for the rest to settle, I said
“Do you want to know our nicknames?”
So I chance it, “Go ahead”
‘Okay Miss. Hadji. Im Malawax, Nasra’s Sambusa, Fawwaz is Hilib Adhil, Ejabo is Canjeero, & Sumaya is Sugo.’

My face went blank,
Emotions welled up….Intersecting…Intermixi
Pure elation tweaked my tear ducts, and tickled my throat to laugh
Leaving me speechless.
And in that moment of frozen time, I understood.
An epidemic was in action
Spreading faster than the flu
And only curable at a young age.


Not selling or purchasing
But pawning
Trading something so valuable and dear
In return for spare change to buy a clue.
But in this case to buy the COOL!
Somali children (like my hilib adhi and malowax)
Love themselves in the fifth grade
And continue to talk Somali, because its not English
Which means it doesn’t break rule #1
“NO talking without permission”
Pride swells in bodies too young to understand the future.
Unaware that …
One day it wont be cool to teach others Somali words.
One day it wont be cool to have Somali food as a nickname.
Or that respecting your culture and religion is fanatical!
Trading macawis for sagging pants
Or bati’s for tight ass skirts
You leave your culture hanging
On a thin cord
Tugging on its assistance only when you have to speak to a Somali elder in Somali.
My brother…my sister
Hand her to me!
For my yearn to perfect my mother tongue is relentless
To perfect my burambuur moves is endless.
See I never had the opportunities to feel Somali soil under my feet,
But I created my land in my mind…and she was a BEAUTY!
compiled and stitched through stories of ‘deg dher’ or the ‘yaay’…which still scares me till this day!
Or elations and happiness in my mothers face as she recalls Eid on every corner.
I gulped it all in
Nutrients for my soul, I grew
A Somali through and through
Authentic to the core
For my love is unmoving
I received my anti-pawn shot at age 11
First day of dugsii’s embrace, I felt at home.
And now I’m sugo for life
Never Nisha, Kim, Tanya, or Betty
Because no matter how many chains you rock, or ice you buy.
You more a man being a Somali guy!
Who provides for his fam, and stands for his country
Not a broke dude aspiring to buy a Bentley.
And you my dear, your beauty is no mistake,
Keeping your culture alive through them bomb Somali cakes.
Not preaching intended, just some good ole advice
For an epidemic is serious in my eye
So when you stand there desperate for the COOL..walk away
Fist in the air saying “I’d rather be Somalian any day!”

Nima Hadji
Copyright ©2010

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