Kintu, Bemba, and cultural learning

This week was definitely better than last, but it wasn't a knockout week either. I felt pretty crappy throughout the first part of it and struggled to have the energy to get much done. And then, miraculously, on Thursday I woke up feeling 100% better. Hooray!

One of the highlights of my week was reading the first couple chapters of a book I'd gotten through inter-library loan, The Oral Tradition of the Buganda of Uganda by Immaculate Kizza. I'd checked this out in hopes of having a good selection of proverbs, but it also has several chapters of other oral traditions: legends, myths, and other important stories. On Saturday morning, I was idling around the house and decided to give the introductory chapters a read. I'm so glad I did!

The second chapter outlines the main creation myth of the Buganda, the story of Kintu, which I've encountered multiple times in my language learning. It also gave a nice, compact overview of the legend of Buganda Kingdom's founding, about which I knew the general outline, if not the details. Both of these items were great to better understand the Baganda and their culture, but they also gave me some insight into the language. For example, the word for death and funeral rights is olumbe; the character Walumbe in the creation myth essentially personifies death.

I once purchased a book that is in the form of a play, called Bemba Musota. I had struggled to read it last year, and realized that it was way beyond my level. Because of this, I abandoned it and sort of forgot about it. However, I realized while reading the story of the founding of the Buganda Kingdom that the play is based on this foundation legend! The titular Bemba is a very important character in the founding legend, and so I think the play is based on him. Since my reading skills are much improved since then, and because I now understand the plot details of this legend, I think I'm well equipped to give the book another try.

Later in the week, I caught back up with my lesson work in the grammar book I've been using. As luck would have it, some of the exercises relied on the plotline of the Kintu creation myth- which helped me understand the text quite well.

Reading this chapter helped me gain a deepened understanding of the Luganda language, but it also gave me numerous insights into Buganda history, cultural values, and references. It was such a good reminder of the power of bringing cultural learning into language learning!

Here is what the week looked like in total:
Monday: 150 Quizlet words, read 1 Bukedde article (Simon and I had network problems and couldn't meet)
Tuesday: 150 Quizlet words, read 1 Bukedde article
Wednesday: 100 Quizlet words, watched a film for 30 minutes
Thursday: 30 minutes working on research proposal, 100 Quizlet words, 1 Bukedde article, read a couple pages of a novel, 10 minutes of Facebook translation
Friday: Lesson with Simon
Saturday: 2 hours of lesson work
Sunday: 1.5 hours of lesson work

I'm feeling positive about the direction things are going, and I do feel like I am wading into more and more advanced territory with the type of studying I am doing. My big plans for my research-related projects have fallen behind, so that will need to get re-worked when I update my ISP. However, for now, I am feeling positive and looking forward to the week to come. (And I'm feeling seriously grateful for health!)


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