Put it on the head
One of the most impressive picture in Africa must be people carrying luggage
on the head. From small package to big water pot, African people, especially
women, carry it on the head with astonishing sense of balance.
It's same for a bus or taxi. Luggage is loaded on the roof top before everything,
not in the trunk room. Usually advance of the departure, a man climbed
up on the roof top of intercity bus and organize all luggage neatly. He
makes a living with the chip from it. But as modernization of the bus,
it sifts to the bottom trunk type, their working opportunities are lessen.
It's a pity.
Now back to the luggage on the head. There are two questions I have wondered
for long time.
First of all, "Is that really easier way to carry luggage?" I
know it's easier to carry heavy luggage on the back than holding 'em with
arm. But why on the head? It seems even much harder. Is man's neck such
a tough part. Moreover woman's slender neck.
Secondly, is African people learn it with no practice at all? Remember.
When we learned riding a bike or swimming, we worked out very hard. It's
not a kind of thing making it in a day. Do African women train it somewhere
behind? If so at what age they master it in average?
However one day, when I turn the blind corner in the historical maze city
Halar, I saw it. 'Wow! This is ...' I felt like touching the thing which
I shouldn't although I had wanted to know about it so much. I hided behind
the wall and watched it.
'Working out so hard ...'
A boy put a sand filled wash-tub on the head, and went back'n forth. His
friends teased him. After a while, I asked them if that's intensive training
for carrying luggage. But they didn't make sense what I was talking. So
I didn't get to know whether it's the training or child's play to the end.
It must has been a big scoop.
In my native culture, "head" has been a special part in the body.
For example, bowing means respect or surrender to somebody with showing
the most important and weak part to them. Even in a fish plate, "with
head part" means supreme. Through that, putting a luggage on the head
means apparently against common sense.
However no custom doesn't means worthless. So I try with a book as the
first step....Here we go. Wow! It's easier than I thought. Moreover I see
new world in front of me. Well .... I feel like that at least.
" Work-out " Harar, Ethiopia 2012