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    Hunger: "We want rice, we don't want cash!"

    This haiku encapsulates my impression of the debate titled 'Cash or kind transfer? The regional, national and global dimensions of revamping the Public Distribution System' facilitated by Augustin Brutus, a scholar activist (Intercultural Network for Development and Peace) and post-doctoral scholar at IFP, Nithya Joseph, at the Pondicherry workshop.  The participants included Sudha Sundaraman, of the AIDWA (All Democratic Women's Association) and members of the local women's group SAMAM (Samam Makalir Suyasarbu Iyakkam).

    Covid 19: Reflections from Gao, Mali 2

    La région de Gao au Mali a pris très au sérieux la pandémie covid 19. Toutes les structures sont en campagne de sensibilisation à travers des sketches et des kakemojo. Mais aussi a travers des distributions de gel hydro alcoolique, savon pour se laver les mains et des masques pour se protéger dans des endroits publics. Les structures sont équipées de kit. Le taux de contagion est faible mais des cas sont enregistré. Tout le monde est entrain de fournir l'effort de mettre fin à cette pandémie.

    Suivrons des images en cuise d'illustration.

    The Changes of Value on Time

    The orange-lined text in the figure is a decree which was issued by King Bodawphaya (1782-1819) in Konebaung dynasty. The original text of it has not been found until now. This is an excerpt from the article written by Ms. Nu Nu Kyi who wrote in Saunders Weaving Institute’100 anniversary magazine. In a decree, the lay men from the different regions had to wear pasoe (the nether garment of Myanmar males) by weaving cotton and satin threads only. Moreover, they didn’t allow wearing the turban, nether garment, and shawl which make with gold and silver threads with a fly shuttle loom.

    Staying at home around a board game 1

    Today, we have been self- confined for over a month. When I wake up, as I do every morning, I take a little walk on Twitter. Today I came across this tweet from the official account of the First Lady of Senegal, Marième Faye Sall. You can see on the post the sentence « Togg Leen Seen Keur » (stay home in wolof) followed by the hashtag #FaaxasCovid19 (#getoffcovid19). There are also three photos of the first lady, the president and one of their sons, dressed in casual clothes, playing Ludo, a popular board game in Senegal. The comments under this tweet are very diverse.

    Staying at home around a board game 2

    Around the meal, I discussed this post (https://bit.ly/3eYutcd) with my family members, our perceptions and interpretations were just as diverse as what I had read in the comments. We did agree on one thing, however: to add "board games" to the list of activities we had drawn up to facilitate confinement. Finally, and after this interesting discussion around the bowl, we chose another game - monopoly, because the Ludo is limited to 4 players. From that day on, the confinement time seemed less long and less boring to us.

    Making life sustainable during Covid 19: Part 1

    After more than two months of self-confinement, we went out on 10 May 2020 with the younger ones to buy plants. We went out with a purpose. We decided to set up a small garden in the courtyard of our house. The next few days were very exciting as we collected and transformed many objects that were lying around the house and used them to decorate our plants (tires, empty bottles, etc).

    The prayers of the talibés 2

    yalna laa baay laate, dugal la ci poosam yobu la aldiana !

    yalna nga àjji màkka 

    yalna nga giseek seriñ tuuba yoomalxiyaam 

    yalna la borom bi bindal tuyaaba

    yalna nga amm ay seex 

    yalna nga tabbi ci teenu xaalis ñu lay gene ngay bañ 

     

    May God make Baye Lahat put you in his pocket and enter with you into Heaven.

    May God give you the grace to perform Hajj in Makkah

    May God make you meet Serigne Touba in the afterlife

    May God record this good deed for you...

    La fête d'Aïd-el-Kébir

    La fête d'Aïd-el-Kébir ou la tabaski ou encore la fête des moutons est un événement très spécial au Mali.
    Spécifiquement au Nord du Mali où les moutons sont égorgés, grillés et toute une bonne ambiance autour de la viande.
    Unique à son genre.
     
    Cela ressert les liens sacrés du voisinage, de sang et de parenté ou de confession. C'est le moment le plus heureux de l'année où la modération se cherche.

    Cultivating Rice in COVID-19 times

     COVID-19 is not the only challenge that common people across the world have been faced with. But there are places where this problem has been compounded due to other kinds of natural challenges felt locally. This has been particularly so in the state of Assam in India where annual flooding ravaged  lives and livelihood. The worst hit have been the ones settled in low lying flood prone zones across the state, making it simply impossible for many to engage in cultivation of the staple food crop, rice. 

    A visit to the market place: Part 1

    This morning I was at the marketplace, after more than a week without going out. I was astonished by what I saw: almost everyone (adult, child, woman, man, young, old, buyer, seller, security guard...) had a mask. I was astonished because in social networks (Twitter, Facebook) I keep hearing about "the indiscipline of Senegalese who do not respect the barrier measures, especially the wearing of masks". I personally found it very responsible that everyone has a mask, with a few rare exceptions. Then I am aware that there are all the problems related to the quality of the mask and its use.

    A visit to the market place: Part 2

    Maybe the people I met today are not asking themselves all these questions. The awareness messages just ask them to "wear" a mask. At the same time, the Minister of the Interior has issued an order on the wearing of masks and the police are punishing all those who do not respect the measure by making them pay a fine of between 3000 and 6000 CFA. One of my neighbors who goes to the market every day told me that she thinks it's a bit stupid to have to pay such sums when a mask costs between 100 and 300 CFA on each street corner.

    Chatting in the street under my window: Part 2

    One hears in turn two women in their sixties talking in Fulani about the case of covid19 detected the day before 600m from our home, two girls around 8 and 14 years old complaining about the decision of the President of the Republic to reopen schools and a male voice on the telephone, that of a teacher who, after three months' absence, is back to go back to school tomorrow morning.

    Chatting in the street under my window: Part 1

    It is on this street, which is on the right side of my house, that the window of my room opens. Every morning when I wake up, I look through it mechanically, even if I can't see anything out of the ordinary. It's a quiet street and not very busy, especially in the morning. The house with the mustard-yellow door is one of the oldest in the neighborhood: it was built in the 1970s by a shopkeeper from Gandiol in northern Senegal. The bricks with decorative motifs that were used to build the wall are typical of this period and are now only seen on very old buildings.

    Songhay cowhide patterns: Part 1

    In Gao and vicinity, it is common to hear announcements of lost cattle on local radio. To be useful, the message must contain fairly precise descriptions. For example, let’s take a red cow – in Songhay, haw (cow), ciray (red). To be sure, the phrase haw ciray is correct, as it literally means “red cow”. Then, why does such a description amuse some villagers just a few kilometres away from town?

    Songhay cowhide patterns: Part 2

    The terminology for cowhide patterns remedies this imprecision. One can say that it is a photographic – chromatic thumbnail – index to the expanded spectrum of combinations.  The best way to gauge its efficiency is to compare standard patterns. Our main informant, an experienced herdsman, estimates that he can recognize up to 120 patterns, but the full count may come close to 150. For the most part, these names are originally borrowed from Fulfulde, the language of the traditionally herding Fulbe (Fula).

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