One very good example about African community-focused culture is that everyone is your brother and sister even if they are not biologically related to you (we do this with faith too and it’s done in the military as comradeship). It is mostly in Africa that you will see someone calling a man or woman who is not his/her biological parent “daddy or mummy” – that is simply the beauty of the culture.
An unfortunate incidence was reported to us where it was stated that a caseworker became hostile to an African lady who said she left her child with her sister when she (caseworker) discovered that the so called “sister” was not her biological sister. She felt deceived and would not accept any explanation.
This is how one culture differs from another to the point that the lack of understanding of a culture, especially by public service providers like the Social Work has continued to unfairly dealt with African women (of course) with negative consequences on the children the system claimed to want to protect.
A record number of African children are falling into care and African working in care and fostering are extremely low. This leaves hundreds, if not thousands of African children in the care of those who do not understand their culture and as these children are mostly at their very young age, it makes rehabilitation to the original parent extremely difficult.
These children also, having been exposed to cultural conflicts right from their tender ages grow up to struggle with self-identity and which affects their self-esteem. We know that these could knock a child out at adulthood or seriously impede the child reaching his/her potentials in life.
The UK government and especially the Scottish Parliament need to look into this and act accordingly as this requires urgency.
Still talking about the language of communication and its uniqueness to each culture.
Laura Plummer (Briton under arrest in Egypt) was reported to have “entered an incorrect plea and admitted importing the drugs by mistake” after questions and responses in court were “lost in translation.” The family were reported to have said further “She’s answered some questions wrong because she’s not understanding them” It’s reported that trial will commence once the defence has found a new interpreter.
The 33-year-old shop worker was arrested after carrying 320 Tramadol tablets into Egypt. The painkiller, an opiate like codeine, morphine and heroin is legal in UK but banned in Egypt.
We continue to raise the need for the UK’s authority, government agencies, Social services, the police and others to understand not just the language of immigrants but also their mode of communication. Many ethnic mirnority people in the UK have been stopped by the police, interviewed by the police and Social services and even allocated solicitors without interpreters and/or without understanding the mode of communication of these cultures.
The society will continue to drag in unfairness and injustices as long as the host community is limiting the narratives of events to only the dictates of its culture.
What has happened to the Briton in Egypt is what is happening to many migrants in the UK and which we have been making several efforts to ensure that the UK government understands the implication of many of its agencies’ disregard for other people’s culture while celebrating UK’s multiculturalism.
We at AFCAE believe cultural pluralism is what we need which fosters not just learning the language of another culture but accepting and celebrating their ways of life and which is very different from multiculturalism which focuses only on the host community culture and expects other cultures to abandon their cultures and fuse into the host culture.
The Egypt case is a good example of communication breakdown because of information “lost in translation”