From time to time, I post poems that are written by non-Somalis on this page; those poems, are often about Somalia or Africa. Ms. Sinikka Salminen emailed me few days ago with this poem and pictures taken in 1985 in Somalia.
About the author: I wrote this poem december 1985 when I returned from Somalia to Finland. I worked 1 ½ years in Tuberculosis project as a public health nurse, living and working in Mogadishu but working also in Kismayo, Qoryoley, Hargeisa and Burao, an unforgettable experience, wonderfull country.
Sinikka Salminen Kerava, Finland
My Somalia is a land of sun
a land of sunraising and sunset
a land of dark and warm nights
a land of camels and goats
a land of kind human beings
a land of friends, a land of light.
My Somalia is a land of communication
there I learned to touch another person
there I learned to laugh, to cry
there I learned to work, to relax
there I learned to get many friends
there I learned to lose my friends.
My Somalia is a land of flowers
a land of Indian Ocean
a land of dry and hot sand
a land of warm and strong wind
a land of sweating under the hot sun
a land of helpful rain.
My Somalia is a land of different customs
there I learned to walk slowly
there I learned to live without telephone
there I learned to live without morningnews
there I learned to drink camelmilk
there I learned to respect somali woman
My Somalia is a land of verbal communication
a land of poem
a land of song
a land of music
a land of radio
a land of tapes.
My Somalia is a land of sounds and smells
there I learned to hear the sea
in that corner of Lido beach
there I learned to smell the unssi
burning it in the "unssi-pot"
getting the smell to my partyclothes.
My Somalia is a land of marketplaces
a land of somali tea
a land of Alba softdrink
a land of sweet "halua"
a land of "dira" a land of "kuntino".
My Somalia is a land of my experiences
there I learned to sing on Merca road
there I learned to see the stars of Shalambood
there I learned to find the old Xamar
there I learned to hear the night of Kismayo
here I learned to smell the night of Qoryoley.
My Somalia is a land of somalifood
a land of somalirice
a land of goatmeat and "bas-bas"
a land of "ambulo iyo bun"
a land of "angero iyo beer"
a land of mango, a land of papaya.
My Somalia is a land of handhygiene
there I learned to wash my hands
and we did that before eating,
also after eating,
you used your right hand.
My Somalia is a land of contrasts
a land of richness, a land of poverty
a land of health, a land of diseases
a land of a birth of a little child a land of a death of a little child
I carry on my arms one of them.
But my Somalia is a land of Allah
Who takes care of the somali children,
the strong men, the long-walking nomads,
the beautiful women, the hard-working mothers.
In that land I can touch the nature,
I can sense very old historical background.
This is my Somaliland.
By: Ms. Sinikka Salminen