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Very interesting stuff. I love these culture posts! About the taking of "english" names that is quite common for Asian imigrants to take american names so it's easier for people they work with. At least half the Asian's that I work with as a engineer/scientist have taken American/English first names. I was very interested to learn that that happens elsewhere.

I read the first link before I read the rest of your post. I really wish I didn't. My blood is running cold now at the thought of those little boys (I have a boy between 1 and 6). Interesting, I guess, but I usually try to avoid stuff like that, interesting or not.

I have to go wash my brain now and consider moving farther away from England or So. Africa (no offense, just protecting the genitals and finger joints).

So interesting you should make a SA post tonight. D and I were watching the local rugby show [in Sydney] and they interviewed a couple of SA players. We both found it really interesting we couldn't tell the black and white players apart based on accent. And I said "I wonder if Tertia sounds like that?" And he was all - who? what?

See, coming from NZ you can generally tell who's Maori, Pacific Island or Pakeha by the way they talk, so I found it very interesting.

Mind you, I'm Maori, he's Pakeha Australian, and I'm probably more attuned to those accent differences than I am to SA accent differences.

I'm on the verge of vomiting right now after clicking on the muti murder link. I was fine until it talked about the little boys and what was done to them...and I don't consider myself a "sensitive viewer". These are children! My God how could people do this to children? Call me naive I guess. I know ritualistic killing and mutilation isn't exclusive to this particular incidence. I wish I hadn't read that.

Tertia - thank you for putting up a different link. Please don't feel bad, you warned us. I just have a really vivid imagination and a very physical sense of empathy and I could just picture with such clarity what that could have looked like. It took me by surprise, that's all.

The power derived by these people is real.

What people do not realize is the source of it. "Devine" it is not.

On the dark side, the younger the 'sacrifice', the more innocent the 'sacrifice', the more power derived from the 'sacrifice'. (death = sacrifice)

And your nanny Grace was accurate in her fears. However, bricks will not protect her from evil.

I don't even have to read what you posted.

There are school children here in the states who are very aware of the power you speak of. The Harry Potter books are rife with it.

v, v sad.

oh good grief.

Harry Potter is evil?

Excuse me while I go laugh myself silly.

I've read every book a half dozen times, and I love them. As do my kids. We all agree how nice it would be to wave a wand and have the house clean.

Better not come visit us. We are bad, bad, folks.

*giggles*

And I just take Tylenol for a headache....wow.

Thank you, Tertia, for opening our eyes to another completely different culture than our own. I do so love reading your posts!

Janis, ignorance is bliss honey. i rarely make a statement that i cannot back up.

ESPECIALLY on line. I (fortunately or unfortunately) have a number of friends/associates who have climbed out of very black pits.

They unanimously agree on that point and ALL warn against the books. In fact, according to them, the books speed dial kids into knowledge of, acceptance of and entrance into that life style.

All under the auspices of 'childish games'.

but go back, if you can, and objectively look for: human sacrifice, spells and incantations (that are real, mind you, even tho a few 'key' elements are left out) as well as the pats on the back for anyone denigrating or demeaning those who don't agree or 'get' the 'idea' that they are 'children's books'.

they are children's books, but they are NOT harmless.

I was willing to read the first few, are you willing to research 'my' side?

i will not respond further. i'm not angry, i just don't think it is the right thing to do.

Hmm, I bet you won't find a single atheist anywhere who's freaked out by Harry Potter and the so-called occult. Feh. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that bp is a somewhat conservative Christian. And might also object to kids dressing up as witches for Halloween.

European women who come to work in the US sometimes change their names, too. I've met two Polish women named Stanislawa who both opted to go by the name "Stella."

i'm a crone, old, bald, ugly and i sleep in attics, alone, w/my freyed but worn 25 pound kjv bible.

spent ten years in the Marine Corps, orange, and let me tell you there ARE no atheists in foxholes.

none.

once you've been in battle, true to flesh or otherwise, all that 'there is no God' bs goes right out the window.

My brother had a cleaning lady who was studying to be a sangoma. One day she asked my SIL if she knew about "the fat lady upstairs." About 50 years ago there had been a murder/suicide in the house and my parents knew the couple (they were friends with the adult son who was not harmed by the father when he committed this act.) My brother called my dad and asked what the lady had looked like and he said she had a "very large bottom."

Sarah used to see the lady standing at the bedroom window upstairs when she walked down the street towards the house in the morning. She also saw her sweeping the floor in a bedroom I lived in for a year. She never saw her in the bedroom where the murder/suicide took place. (She died in the bedroom, but the husband survived a few hours and died later in hospital which is why we don't think his spirit was in the house.)

My parents had always told us the the lady was neat and clean and felt she would be happy that my brother had bought the house and was taking care of it. My nephew's bedroom is the one where the murder took place and we all believe that the lady watches over him, rather than being a disruptive spirit.

We wanted to know whether the cleaning lady got extra credit for this homework.

I know atheist marines who were atheists even when being shot at in combat (though I can't attest to the foxhole part - maybe it's the FOXHOLE ITSELF that makes one become religious).

In any case, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. As if you being a marine makes your argument more valid.

bp: "Oh! Look at me! I'm a marine! I know all about Harry Potter and the occult! La la la!"

I've read all about that "side" (read "idiocy") of the Harry Potter thing. It's crap. It's a bunch of Christian freaks being dumb. Don't make me turn into a self-righteous jackass again and start posting up links to academic papers. I'LL DO IT!!! I'LL START USING WORDS LIKE "ergo" and "qua" IN MY COMMENTS!!!

-egg donor (whose tolerance for the dumb has declined exponentially in the last week)

I love this kind of writing by you!

I feel like I'm taking South African Cultural Anthropology 101, taught by Professor Tertia.

Very cool. Very cool.

nah, the Marine comment is in reference to being in a combat situation, living under continued stress and staring death face to face, and i make it because, sadly, MOST people and fewer WOMEN have NEVER considered it.

and note: to date, w/the small exception of 'ignorance is bliss' i have never thrown a pot shot or denigrated anyone or anything in my 'opinion', that i firmly hold after being confronted, face to face, w/the (now) obvious spirit world realities.

Egg donor, you are mean, you may be educated, but you reek of emptiness.

Now, take your last pot shot at me, be as ugly as possible and understand that this is the level of response I, personally, expect from you.

and i will not respond.

Whilst investigating the murder of the little boy found in the Thames, police found that in the last year 300 young African boys had gone missing from school in London.

Only 2 could be traced. The rest are believed to have returned to Africa and cannot be found despite extensive searches.

They aren't suggesting that all have met with foul play, and highlight the fact that culturally, children are often passed around amongst relatives close and distant, but there are now calls to monitor children's movements.

I love the culture posts as well, but maybe not this one so much. I am moving to SA in the fall with my husband and this sort of freaks me out even though I am sure my chances of being a victim of such a thing are very slim!

This is the first I have heard of this. I guess I need to keep researching. We have a ton of books at the house on SA right now.

Again, fascinating. Are you thinking of writing a book on SA? I think it would be a great read.

I find it interesting that bp keeps saying she won't respond but still does...

I'm so tired of hearing that Harry Potter is the devil's book. MY GOD PEOPLE. It's entertainment. It's not suggesting we all go out and kill each other like half of these damn rap songs and TV shows kids listen to. I'd rather have my kid read Harry Potter than watch MTV or any of that stuff.

Anyway, where are the links? I know you took them off, but please leave them on for those that might want a glimpse into this world.

Love reading your blog. Babes are beauties!!!

How fascinating...I guess that's the right way to put it. You just don't know what goes on in the rest of the world, do you? Sick-o's all over the world prey on children. Different places, different weapons, but always the same end result. Sad.

Thanks none the less for another SA lesson.

People hurt people. Books don't hurt people.

Thanks for the post, interesting and emotionally charged as always, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I second what Jessica said. There is more evil in people singing about raping and killing and hating than in a book that deals with forces that may or may not exist.

migraine + drugs = little judgement.

my e-mail is linked, if you all want to continue dinging me, feel free to e-mail, ok?

if you are ignorant enough to attack, i'll consider the counter attack.

it's a lalalalal marine thang!

I love the cultural posts and have never heard of the Tokloshi. (You can't please everyone) but I wish you had kept the posts up with the warning. Usually people don't believe the horror that goes on in the world, and certainly don't do anything to help, without being confronted with it face-to-face.

And it's been my experience that every religion, major or minor, new or ancient, has human sacrifice and incantations, no matter what name they care called by. And there are always some humans who will kill other humans for self-advancement, and there are others who will protect. This is nothing new, folks, just another angle to view it from.

On another note, the Tokloshi, reminded me a whole lot of Cousin Itt on the old American show "The Addams Family"

Jill

BP, I won't bombard your e-mail account with messages telling you I think you're certifiable. I'll just say it here. You're a religious wackjob of the first degree. You give the U.S. Marines a REALLY BAD name. I doubt you were ever a Marine. You may have washed out at Parris Island, or MCRD San Diego if you're a guy, but you're no Marine.

Btw, I'm guessing you're a woman. Just when exactly was it that you were in a 'foxhole' in a 'combat situation'? The answer is never. Women aren't allowed to serve on the front lines according to U.S. Law. You can support combat units, but you'll never find yourself in a forward position supporting a combat unit. The Marines don't dig foxholes miles behind enemy lines. That makes you a teller of half truths.

As for the Harry Potter is evil thing, I see you sitting with the tinfoil hat on so the aliens can't read your thoughts. You see the black helicopters circling your house don't you, you poor thing. You, my dear, are a nutjob.

Note the use of 'Dear' is sarcastic and justified after you patronized another poster earlier by calling Janis 'honey'. Janis is a grown woman, and doesn't deserve to be patronized.

Good luck in your efforts to ignore the voices in your head.

Best regards,

Becky aka Socal

Note: I'm sure that BP will have plenty to rant about regarding my post. Disclaimer below.

I'm off in the AM to see my family in southern Mississippi. I will be staying with my 75-year-old parents. They have no computer. They don't care to learn about the concept of e-mail, the Internet, or the World Wide Web. I will not be able to read your hateful, narrow response. I will spend my time playing dominos, sitting on the porch, and arguing politics with my father who has a framed picture of George Bush next to his Lazyboy (trademark) chair in his den (lounge). I will also be drinking a fair amount of Kentucky bourbon with my father.

I will watch my nephew graduate from high school (with no particular honors). He has no life plan, and is aimless. STILL, he isn't possessed by Dobby the house elf (of the Harry Potter series), he's only 17, and may actually find his place in the universe after a bit of searching.

My divine (not DEVINE - take a look back at BP's spelling - DEVINE is a city in Texas, U.S.) nephew is gay in south Mississippi (the gay part is of concern because of his locality and the obvious bigotry/violence). He's speaking at his graduation because he was voted most likeable guy in his class. He sent me his speech to read and edit. Its about my husband. My husband is the man in his life who said, "No one will ever say that you are polite in excess, informed in excess, and compassionate in excess. You can never be humble, loyal, or funny in excess. You can never be ambivalent about your values period. That doesn't mean you can't put someone in their place if they are full of shit. Just be sure you're right." I copied it word for word from Ryan's (my nephew) speech. Perhaps I'll feed him a relevant "Harry Potter quote" when he is on the way up to deliver his speech.

In Mississippi, I will eat food that is fried and bad for me. I will not be able to find a friggin vegetable for mile. I will e-mail Tertia about being fat directly after returning home to California.

Tertia -
Very interesting post. You've really peaked my interest when you start talking medicine and culture all in one post. Have you or family ever been to see a Sangoma? Are they mostly well-respected amongst both blacks and whites? (I'm assuming here that most Sangomas aren't involved in muti murders - is that a fair assumption?) I know here in the states traditional medicine of other cultures (often referred to as alternative medicine) is often viewed with skepticism even though it is being used more frequently by the average person these days. Is there a similar hesitancy amongst whites in SA or are they mostly willing to embrace it?

As I read some of the articles I had an uneasy feeling and it reminded me of a book a read for Cultural Anthropology in college called 'In Sorcery's Shadow'. And I think the only reason the book made me uneasy is because it was non-fiction - yikes. It was about an anthropologist who became an apprentice in Niger. I wish I still had the book - I'd love to read it again. I find the traditional medicine of indigenous people to be fascinating.

And while I'm thinking of Africa & outstanding non-fiction books (The Hot Zone comes to mind) I saw in the news this morning reports that Angola has been struggling with a Marburg outbreak for the last few months. And I was just curious how things like that are viewed from your perspective? Do you hear much about it? Is it far enough away that it's no big deal? Just curious. :-)

Hope you are well. Adam & Kate are looking truly G&D!

Remember the boy I emailed you abt in December or so on? The one whose penis was cut off? Don't know if it's still called Muti if it's on Moçambique. Anyway everyone, sometimes there are happy endings, this child survived, was flown to Portugal and operated on for free, and is now back home w a brand new recosntructed penis. The doctors think he'll even be able to have children.

Also, female mutilation is an even more common practice still in many African countries, and even in some European ones within the ghettos. If Tertia's post has touched you, you can do something against it. Amnesty International often has campaigns and educational events, just google it.

These are ugly subjects but the ugliness exists. And sometimes it can all become a little bit less ugly for a little while w our help.

(Sorry for hogging T but many people don't know abt this or what they can do to help)

Oh and Nicole? from an European perspective, Angola was a former colony of ours (Portugal) and we have many many Angolans living here, there are aeroplanes flying on and outr every day. This Marburg outbreak shows no intention of abating, it's very very scary to us. Those poor people are still at its mercy and dying like you wouldn't believe it.

I would also love to hear what's your take on exotic diseases' possibilities, T, and if SA is prepared for it. We aren't, that's for sure. And do NOT EVER read the Hot Zone.

I love these words...

"No one will ever say that you are polite in excess, informed in excess, and compassionate in excess. You can never be humble, loyal, or funny in excess. You can never be ambivalent about your values period."

And just to start stirring another pot...


DA VINCI CODE!!!!!


I'm off to get some popcorn so I can enjoy it as I read the rest of these posts.

Jill - I probably would have asked for the links to be put back, too...really - I'm *not* a sensitive viewer. If you really want to read it, I'm sure Tertia will be willing to share via email or just tell you where you can find the article if you ask her. Just a friendly warning, though...you can't un-read something and once those images (my imagination's images...I don't think there were any images in the article)were etched in my mind I knew they'd be there forever. Maybe it's worse because I have a little boy? Anyway...

ok, socal, so beit....but it is really, really bad judgement.

Yes, i really was a Marine, and no i do NOT give them a bad name. There are NO back lines anymore, in fact, even if you are a supply person or truck driver, historically back lines, in TODAY'S war, you are FRONT lines, ok?

Period. Even in reading the 'news' where there is the big fit over here about women being in combat positions, it is a moot point.

For the record, i don't believe women should be in the military, at all. And the Marines are the most conservative force there is on their presence, but it will not save one life in today's war zone.

And no, i have never been in combat. But being a writer and humanitarian at heart, i make it my business to speak to every vet I meet, and my 'specialty' seems to be the 'Heros', the ones who have seen multiple battle scenes and are still alive to talk about it.

Their stories will break even YOUR heart, but i want to hear them. Not many do, and even the strong, silent types have a need to be heard.

And yes, there are plenty of women (read: nurses, et. al) who have stories to tell.

And yes, i did consider, too late,the illusion of 'half truth', except i still maintain close to ties to many military people and a comment like that in THAT arena would elicit little more then a head nod.

Here is a one hundred percent truth tho: I have NEVER talked to ANYone (and i live where i am w/no more then 30 minutes drive to about four bases) that didn't agree w/the foxhole statement.

The 'sin' of making a statement like that is not the unintended misconception on the other end, it would be the refusal to acknowledge the (even unintended) error.

re: black helicopters.

Cute. I gooogled it for fun. Here you go: http://www.sonic.net/sentinel/gvcon2.html

I stand by the harry potter stuff and completely apologize to janis for calling her 'dear' while choosing to overlook the BFO (uhm, socal, that would be Brillian Flash of the Obvious) of her completely irreverant and patronizing toned post directed at my comments.

Which would make you, ms. socal, not only onboxiously out of line, but all gives you tunnel vision. you were unable to see the tone of someone YOU agreed w/in your haste to slice and dice mine.

are you CERTAIN you aren't a closet holy roller? Maybe just sneak inside a church once a month or so just for securities sake?

You would fit right in

The error in life isn't having the opposing veiwpoint, it seems to be actually having the guts to VOICE!!

I stand bye the Harry Potter breakdown. Just because you think because majority rules doesn't make majority right.

And everyone knows tin foil doesn't deter mind reading. Silly Girl! SARAN WRAP!!!

jeesh!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog on babies!!!

Tertia, wanna know my opinion on that movie The Passion??

I received this in my email this morning from BP. Discuss among yourselves.

Walking out of door to go to airport.

From BP:

ok, socal, so beit....but it is really, really bad judgement.

Yes, i really was a Marine, and no i do NOT give them a bad name. There are NO back lines anymore, in fact, even if you are a supply person or truck driver, historically back lines, in TODAY'S war, you are FRONT lines, ok?

Period. Even in reading the 'news' where there is the big fit over here about women being in combat positions, it is a moot point.

For the record, i don't believe women should be in the military, at all. And the Marines are the most conservative force there is on their presence, but it will not save one life in today's war zone.

And no, i have never been in combat. But being a writer and humanitarian at heart, i make it my business to speak to every vet I meet, and my 'specialty' seems to be the 'Heros', the ones who have seen multiple battle scenes and are still alive to talk about it.

Their stories will break even YOUR heart, but i want to hear them. Not many do, and even the strong, silent types have a need to be heard.

And yes, there are plenty of women (read: nurses, et. al) who have stories to tell.

And yes, i did consider, too late,the illusion of 'half truth', except i still maintain close to ties to many military people and a comment like that in THAT arena would elicit little more then a head nod.

Here is a one hundred percent truth tho: I have NEVER talked to ANYone (and i live where i am w/no more then 30 minutes drive to about four bases) that didn't agree w/the foxhole statement.

The 'sin' of making a statement like that is not the unintended misconception on the other end, it would be the refusal to acknowledge the (even unintended) error.

re: black helicopters.

Cute. I gooogled it for fun. Here you go: http://www.sonic.net/sentinel/gvcon2.html

I stand by the harry potter stuff and completely apologize to janis for calling her 'dear' while choosing to overlook the BFO (uhm, socal, that would be Brillian Flash of the Obvious) of her completely irreverant and patronizing toned post directed at my comments.

Which would make you, ms. socal, not only onboxiously out of line, but all gives you tunnel vision. you were unable to see the tone of someone YOU agreed w/in your haste to slice and dice mine.

are you CERTAIN you aren't a closet holy roller? Maybe just sneak inside a church once a month or so just for securities sake?

You would fit right in

The error in life isn't having the opposing veiwpoint, it seems to be actually having the guts to VOICE!!

I stand bye the Harry Potter breakdown. Just because you think because majority rules doesn't make majority right.

And everyone knows tin foil doesn't deter mind reading. Silly Girl! SARAN WRAP!!!

jeesh!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog on babies!!!

Tertia, wanna know my opinion on that movie The Passion??

I dismissed your comments offhand as yours I found them to be silly. I do not know a single child who believes that anything in HP books is more than pure fantasy. Not my own kids, nor the many I come into contact with on a daily basis.

The interesting thing that seems to be ignored by HP critics is that those in the books who use their powers for dark purposes never gain. They are thwarted, good triumphs over evil. Good triumphs over evil. How can that be missed? How can the valuable lessons of true friendship, the importance of family, truth, honesty be ignored in favor of focusing on the ones who do wrong? Many stories have a mix of good and bad characters. In almost all, the good ones triumph. Just because magic is involved that makes these innocent books somehow evil. I don't get it.

There is real evil in the world. If you feel the need to fight, fight that. Don't fight the make believe stuff.

Real evil as in what is being done to kids and adults all over the world. Some of it in the name of religion.

I would hazzard a pretty accurate guess that today, more children and adults will be harmed or killed in the name of religion than to honor Harry Potter.

Honor killings? Done for pride and faith. Not for HP.

Female genital mutilation, same thing.

Suicide bombings around the world? Religion, terrorism, not HP.

Wives and children beaten, killed in the name of religion. How much of this is caused by HP?

Real violence happens because people are evil. And some good people spend too much time fighting innocent things and let the real evil slip right on by.

i sent it e-mail because a) my computer jammed and b) i don't need an audiance to engage in conflict. Janis, i totally agree w/you on all points, except the book one, but, again, here isn't the place to debate that.

ignorance is bliss, and it is also loud.


pride will defeat me.

i responded to socal out of personal pride, she attacked me personally.

i will not do it again.

Okay guys - knock it off. And I'm posting anon because I don't want to be dragged down with the sinking ship. Leave it alone...and bp...you're not doing anyone any favors and you're not making anyone want to listen to you...if you say you're not going to respond - don't respond!! You two are like children going "nyah nyah nyah nyah boo boo!"

BP,
Way to go for standing up to the "majority". We need more people like you in the world.
Rach
Tertia - more pics please!!!!!!!! I want to see those babes!

I am a white ex-south african, who after unsuccessfully trying to fall pregnant went to a sangoma. I was subjected to a horrific ritual in which I was cut, choked and thumped. During the ritual I was told I had to pay a further amount of money to buy a cow. I left there thinking it was a scam and decided not to pay the money. Three months later I was pregnant(after failing to fall pregnant for two years), when my son was four months old I started having horrific experiences. I honestly thought I was losing my mind, I have spent the last two years trying to find the Sangoma because I do believe I need to pay him the money I owe, I have not had one day's peace!! believe me when I say "don't dabble in the unknown"

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