Monday, May 5, 2008

SOMALI VULGAR LANGUAGE IN ITS TRUE COLORS

What the heck is wrong with Somalis whenever they disagree on any subject they hurl expletives and other despicable conversational language at each other devoid of brainpower and comprehension? Perhaps, the first contaminated and impertinent language ever to spew out from the mouths of our forefathers is the ineffective and bashful overtone 'awowgaa lagub' and 'waran hele' which, at present, is left to a few surviving culturally inclined men and women bent on preserving our unique prestige and heritage. For the youth of Mogadishu and those of the southern regions, 'jinoole aa tahay' and 'habartaa buufkeed' still captures the limelight of joking relationship.

From an anthropological viewpoint, joking relationship may be defined as behavior common among certain people of close proximity in kin who display a sense of hilarity involving shared mockery, wit, and liveliness often sliding into romantic apprehension and sexual insinuation. In contrast, avoidance relationships imply the evasion of certain negative behaviors amongst sets of kin in order to enhance social harmony. Joking relationship often dissipates in societies afflicted by conflict. In the case of Somalia where civil strife is a daily occurrence, avoidance relationships is a common tool used to create substantial barricade so as to keep warring factions poles apart or else it could lead to senseless conflagration of political uncertainty and death. Intimidations and insinuations against adversaries using arrogant expressions like “ma anoo reer hebel ah” can be found among all peoples including clans.

The mention of the word 'clan' rents many hearts asunder as it reminds them of several decades of misrule by tyrannical regimes who callously diluted the dignified status and good name of Somalia’s fragile communities leading them into an abyss of social disgrace and continuous exodus of political refugees to every corner of the earth.

Clans are a group of people related by blood who are uninformed whether they have authentic affiliation. Whether one is 'laan gaab' or 'laan dheere', among Somalis, the decayed slattern and the highly educated all share a common blatant for introduction purposes: anigu waxaan ahay reer hebel.

'War waxu af dheeraa' signified the severity and abhorrence the Somali people had for the use of aggravating language. Now that the hellish war between the warlords competing over drugs, money, and power and the Jihadists all out to enforce law and order in Mogadishu and its environs is over, it is quite comprehensible that the battleground is rife with immoral, ravenous, and contemptible acts slowly filtering disparaging language into our formerly uncontaminated traditions and mutually supporting society-a tough assignment for our future forces that will combat decadence in our midst when peace finally prevails.
For the haggardly loxoox-munching, qaad-chewing, mentally hallucinated, and dyspepsia- afflicted ragamuffins who dedicated their lives to doing dastardly acts to enforce the peculiar laws of the insatiable loquacious warlord san-ka-dhuus, rest assured you will be judged by your actions for ignorance of the law is no excuse and that the only option open for your future repentance is to undergo psychiatric therapy to cleanse your blood-stained hands and eroded cannibalistic mental faculties.

The era when society harmonically admonished criminals 'war Allahaaga ka cabso' is no longer of vital importance as it now belongs to ancient verbal expressions. It is the rule of the 'labo-xiniinyood' whose daggers are drawn in cut-throat positions with each side willing to sacrifice entire 'qoys', 'jilib' and 'qabiil'. Opposing forces launch callous vituperations assisted by blasphemous imprecations: including 'Allaah ha idiin dabargooyo', 'Rabbiyoow kuwani naga gacansareysii'-a stupendous malcontent of duplicitous and sacrilegious declaration that is not consistent with Islamic values but rather a commoditization of excessive satanic religiosity and absolute display of immoral values. The saying by some: 'Soomaali waxaa lagu xukumi karaa qori caaradiisa' seems to hold some water. An endless cycle of violence has been dragging on for fifteen years with no solution in sight even with the intervention of the mightiest powers. A famous Somali Poet exclaimed that the return of Siyad Barre (deceased former president) could tilt the scale of anarchy and have all warlords in dungeon- an impossible undertaking indeed.

The recent clashes between the Islamic Courts and the warlords, two war-hardened rivals brought a sigh of relief to Somalis wherever they may be as the warlords themselves have either conceded defeat or cried 'cagteey malabeey meel igee' feverishly running faster than 'xiin finiin' to their hideouts while retorting: 'Libaaxii alamtarana soo dhaaf'. Even with 'maromugeed' of dollars and their promise that they will pursue some members of the Islamic Courts in the most impenetrable 'futo jiir', in the long run, the extended hands of the world powers will take the warlords into custody so they may be handed over to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, to be tried for crimes against humanity, just like Charles Taylor of Liberia.

The circumambulation of the graves of the holier-than-thou and virtuous religious figures and throwing of stones at Lucifer in specially selected localities in the hope of receiving blessings in order to have an upper hand in war continues to this day in many parts of Somalia-undeniably a religious innovation of the worst kind. The cry of sheikh hebelow which was a way of overcoming hardships has been hampered by the shortage of cambuulo, a good recipe for congregational purposes, however; gone are the days when its abundance made many sing: 'cambuulo galleey ka ciilbeelayeey'. At the present time, the training of our youth for future warfare against other tribes is antagonistically in the making. 'Waar dameeryahow abtirka toosi' is homework for every under-age Somali child.


Lately, a few prominent curses have disappeared from Somali vocabulary. Up till now, 'Caloosha kuwareegtay' and 'xaarkaaga xero loo ood' need not create unease for anyone due to abundance of abdominal medications. But there is cause for apprehension for a few in the use of appalling soubriquets like 'fool midgaanle', for such epithets malign the good name and reputation of an exemplary community known for centuries-old artwork, creativity, and manifest beauty.

Furthermore, the use of offensive language by major tribes catapulted to wider depth and stretch after the ouster of the former regime consequently creating a frightful atmosphere for the weaker tribes and minorities who have been victims of abuse and marginalization for centuries. For the major clans, references like 'war hooy aan kala xishoonno' assisted the warring parties calm their belligerence and advocate a temporary ceasefire until an amicable solution could be reached. When one is unable to control his mouth, he is apt to exclaim: 'kaalay afka iga sharootee' -for such individuals are said to be disturbed by excruciatingly painful unnoticeable tumors which can be traced to devastating worms twirling in their intestinal organs and so passionately Somalis query: 'war waxa ma dixri baa walaaqaya'?

Presumably, each of the warlords may have seven intestines and that is why they are referred to as 'xaaraan ku naax', 'calool barmiile' and 'xiidmo geelle', nevertheless; braggadocios the likes of those waging wars in Somalia, despite remaining indefatigable doyens of Somali jungle politics and having absolute influence over the communities they led, in the long run; they were reduced to 'digo iyo dambas'.

In conclusion, it is time for habarkuuleey to rest in peace undisturbed; a time to display a sign on her door handle that reads: 'wejigaa Alla manuuree buuqa iga daa'. Frowning disgusted, and perturbed, Mooryaans and their cohorts disconsolately walk away in disbelief saying: 'lee ilaha'- apostasy punishable by death under Islamic sheria. Let’s wait and see if derogatory language ceases to exist in our midst.

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