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Monthly Archives: July 2013
Britain and English…
About 300 million people in the world speak English and other we try or speak something like English. Due to my fascination of languages cycling in Britain give opportunity to explore hundreds of English tongue which I find to be so artistic, such as ‘Cockney’. The explanation for this artful tongue of English which it’s name might have come from ‘Cock’ egg’ and the possibly born from the sound of bow bell! That is very close to San click language.
My main question was how this language become powerful language because in some part it is refused but out of importance; In Africa it related to colonial rulers/master. Yes, even in America after independent but there was no choice, i guess. It is still most learned language, consider China. This has lot of economic benefit to UK, bring millions of pounds and jobs.
My curiosity made me travel back on time. Germanic tribe Angles migrate in the island and settle themselves in between native Celtic who probably today are represented with Welsh, Irish and Scottish (or just languages which are endangered ), later they were joined with other Germanic Saxons who together formulates several small kingdoms. Under civilized Roman ruling, now Anglo-Saxon said to be uncultured and pagan so they preserved important names we have today Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday which commemorate their gods and gods wife. Sunday, Saturday and Monday = Sun, Saturn and Moon. Roman die Anglo-Saxon survived underground just to become strong later as their new ruler Normans speak different tongue from which later English will borrow lot of words.
Even though after wondering in this deep pool of complex history still I didn’t find today English to be close related of any thing, it simply combination of other languages not mention innovation for individual such as Shakespeare (Just hear that he wrote his name in so many formation that we have problem to choose one today) I think that what makes it difficult language to learn. There is lots of inconsistent but it long established language and gods know what was foundation. I guess this challengers makes it strong and forward it still moving give birth to new words everyday, my friends in Nairobi their master of playing this game. To make it more classic but super confusing it has Latin grammar.
Long way to sustainability…
I was a boy can’t remember the age but this day I didn’t had to go to school, Tanzania has lot of holiday which means less or not at all for most of rural folks. Teacher told as is the day which called ‘Mtoto wa Afrika’ ‘The son of Africa’ and no further explanation, for my grand ma it was jubilation, another one man labour to peak coffee. Peaking coffee for whole day not by machine just by hands, it can be another form of meditation to count the berries. The celebration for me I got to listen to the radio, the things they used to talk in the radio for village boy all were distance dream but this day the dream was different. They talked about students murdered in Soweto, South Africa and that is for that event is why we commemorate he day. Also the talk about a man who is standing up against all these odds; Nelson Mandela. The story linger in my brain for whole day as I count the red beans. The inspiration seed was saw in me. We can have sustainable development and protect out heritage especial the natural one.
In busy London as I had to cycle to crisis cross the city for media interviews and meetings. I was stricken with same frustration of pollution. Carbon footprint measure show that 3 days emission from a person in UK it is one year of person in Tanzania. I guess non will suffer less though unsubsidized peasant farm in Tanzania is likely to suffer more. If that is not enough of unequally there is consuming method. Please read this read this Oxfam report to find out more. http://www.behindthebrands.org/ The roll we play when we consume without awareness we increase more poverty and straggle.
Some cities such as Amsterdam is trying to create more green urban. In London it is hard to commute with bicycle apart traffic the authentic city has challenge to implement new infrastructure. It is my hope that authority will come up with alternatives.
The city has lot of opportunities and here comes lot of good things as well. Chile to Kili receive a great support from media with amazing interest from BBC. With their broadcast in variation languages I could reach Swahili speakers of East Africa and French of West. My special thank and appreciation to BBC, NTV,Sporah Show and all friends who makes this possible.
If you haven’t see the clips here are links (Note the NTV mistaken my route, thought I did Russia and Asia as well unfortunately didn’t participate on preparation to make correction till the time it went on air) ;
Again with the visa show couldn’t cycle to Republic of Ireland so I’m now doing detour in the England before return to London to sort out Schengen visa again. Cycling out of London took good two hours. Out of the city the scene is such of natural bounty as the weather decide to be on my side. the green hills and blue sky made cycling amazing feelings. The rural life of England is such big different to the big cities, it still main farming up north of London is more of livestock keeping. While London is meting port of many culture sometime feel like white British are minority, in the rural it still cultural and traditions persist. Cycling past these villages in the evenings is common to see English enjoy their Ales beers which sometime others will end up sipping to much. Pubs and bars here has such names which make you wonder what they sell inside; Old Hounds and Hares, Dog and Duck, Flying Spoon, Bull and Spectacles. Others will be proudly name after certain Duke and many goes by Head of Queen or King.
It is also a country of games in these evenings many will be playing variety of games which were also invented here.
I was luck to meet with old friends some help with draft the wind, thank you Ruth. Some show me traditional English/Scottish kindness of village, thank you Alice Hayfield is among of my highlight. And now in Manchester on the way south again.
Storms and wind persist as I pedal the green fields of southern east Netherlands to Belgium. In the near Belgium boarder I sort campsite in the small town, there were no one to talk with just machine which transfer to the person 2hrs away possibly in front of TV. He agree that I could tent camp but huge place which I had to navigate with map has only cottages with lots of people who consider this as weekend camping. The next day several roads linked together brought me to the city of Antevepen I had warm bed waiting for me in Gent so long day with heard wind final got in Gent.
I met Hennie, Evelyne and Mathias in Oruro, Bolivia more than one year ago, I couch suffer with them and we remain in touch. It was such a pleasure to see the familia faces once again. Through their friend Luise enthusiastic young lady involved in the project called ‘Fietskeuken’ bike kitchen, yes it is bike kitchen with small donation you can fix your bike, eat and drink! All this is to bring cyclist together in the evening gathering. They invite me to share my project and experience. The place is full of ambitious and energetic young people, at the end of talk though there was no of of questions I could see how much inspired they were.
Gent is relatively small city with it historical building and number of tourists wondering around at the end of the day you may think you are living in the museum. I’m fascinated with this medieval arc
hitecture which characterized lots of Western Europe cities and some places every center of town of village. It strongly influenced by christianity, there can be several churches, monastery or other of same relation in the same place just as today in the meddle east of growing islamic countries. It always surprised me to see these massive buildings which I guess they cost fortunes if not lives especial in the medieval time. Is our religions another economic ideal or spiritual path?
I was luck to be invited to the musical festival in Brussels ‘Couler Cafe’, it seem like music festival is good therapy for log depressing weather and social economy of Europe. These events brought people out as weather allow. I learn that artists and bands are likely to come from south with them they bring their social characters, warm energy and sometime preaching positiveness. In the place were I have seen daily life to be individual and systematic I think these events apart of being economic raptors they are also health mental. I love music, apart of knowing good artists it could be impossible to see them since they are expensive they are able to perform live in western rather than in the developing countries.
The interesting thing in Belgium is current progress of economy which bring politics into two distinctive population, small but ethnical strong southern French speaking and big Dutch (Flemish) speaking, Flanders. At some point Belgium was under Holland which connect geographical. Former peasant Dutch speaking with their deltic (flemish) now proudly to be called independent language fall into France ruling. After independent French ruler remain in the territory just as in England with Normans. They remain to be economic power house for a while but today things have changed. Because of this distinction after independence neither side could agree with which side should take chair in the monarch ruling so…let import the King. May they could do this for Burundi and Rwanda! Brussels by as bilingual city though in the Flemish ocean. Though students have to learn two language, flanders seem to master better may be because their has French influence. It is in Brussels were someone will avoiding to offend you will ask which language to proceed with equerry. It fascinating and surprising to see is not only the mother continent straggle with language crises, remember the the law which lead to killings in Quebequi. That was big distinction in Belgium the fun was waiting in England where I’ll find out I’m not the only one straggling with English, also English struggle with English; Once has to be Oons!
Passo de Calais…
I had a day and half in French corner before embark on boat to England. The difference was just language, it was bit relief for me but worst is French will not have alternative of other language. I’ll say ‘hello’ and folks will proudly south ‘Bonjour’. In the France territory is where now random drivers will start honing once again and shout ‘Bravo’ as I cycle by. The normal answer for direction is also back on play ‘Tout Doit’, when people can not explain direct which often they will try their best by asking you if you know certain church or shopping center just to learn again you are total new in the area at last they will say ‘Keep straight’.
One hour and half in the boat laving behind the small sand beaches of Calais, green fields and over hang rocks. I now could hear lots of conversation going on around. Irish and Welsh old man come over to chat about the bike, their were super social the aspect which become are in last few months. In the conversation I have to beg for lots of pardon because I would misunderstand what they mean. This is what welcome to to England, not only grammar or formation of sentence and usage of words but also pronunciations. I’m fascinated because I always love the variation of English tongue, it is like England is most rich than any where else. In some point I hear busy goes ‘buzzy’, sometime on goes like ‘wun’, Once sometime become ‘Oons or Wunce’. I’m looking forward to learn more about this most spoken language in the world.
Half way from France it start to rain and will like that till we arrive at Dover which also pronounced as ‘Daver’, almost though I was in the wrong place as I ask for direction from local try to find house of host friends.
Green hills and valleys, yes that is England. There were less roads from Dover to near London but lots enough to make detour of 30km. Gladly to read the road sigh in the familiar language once again but takes a while to get used with which side of road should I cycle on, I have to excuse myself from time to time as impatient drive honk at me. Exploited by Scandinavian and other countries bicycle priority I find it scaring to cycle with fast cars. Worst was in the middle of the city in the rush hour where I have to battle my way with buses and cars. In may occasion I have to push my bike through tourists infested streets.
It is my hope in this big city will achieve project goals, looking forward to have talk with one of BBC charnel radio on Wednesday of 10th and with ITN TV tomorrow at 5:30pm