I’m a mixed black african girl who grew up and lived most of her life in Cameroon, in Central Africa. My dad is half-white (french) and half-black (cameroonian), and my mom is 100% cameroonian. There’s little to no black african characters in popular fiction, which has always bothered me, and it would be so nice to read about someone like me for once.
Culture and food
Cameroon is a country created during colonization, with borders defined by europeans. Because of that, Cameroon is actually made of 200 ethnic groups, each of them having their own language and culture. So the culture and daily habits vary a lot depending on which region of Cameroon you are in. In the big cities, though, everyone is mingled no matter where they’re from. However, so many different ethnic groups cohabiting together often causes tension. There are also a lot of stereotypes about every ethnic group.
I grew up in the central and coastal areas of the country, and I’m Bassa. The Bassa are one of the main ethnic groups in Cameroon. If your parents are from two different ethnic groups, it is decided that you officially belong to your father’s ethnic group. My mother is Bakoko but my father is Bassa, so I’m the latter. When I meet another Cameroonian, two of the first questions we usually ask each other are : What are you (meaning, what’s your ethnic group) ? and Where is you village ?
Villages are very important in the Cameroonian culture. Your village is where your father’s ancestors were born. Even if you’re not born there, you usually have grandparents or great-uncles or family friends living there, and if you have enough money to do so you must regularly visit your village. And usually, when people earn enough money, they send money to their village so that people living there can have a better life, build more houses and schools etc.
Cameroonian food is very diverse, and varies depending on the region. The national dish is Ndolé, a dish made with ndolé leaves, stewed nuts, and meat (fish, beef or shrimps). Other common foods are bobolo and miondo (food made out of fermented manioc), soya (spicy grilled meat on skewers), and plantain. My dad is half-french though, so at home we eat almost as much french food as cameroonian food (crème brûlée, shepherd’s pie, beef bourguignon, A LOT of bread and cheese).
There are hundreds of different languages, but the official languages are French and English. Cameroon was colonized by France and England so Northern Cameroon mainly speaks english and central/southern Cameroon mainly speaks french. Most people also speak their ethnic group’s language. I don’t know how to speak Bassa, though, because neither do my parents. When me and my siblings were kids, our dad asked our baby-sitter to teach us, but she could only do so much and I only remember a few words.
Like most countries, there is a lot of colorism in Cameroon based on European beauty standards. When you’re a woman, the lighter you are, the prettier and more desirable you are considered. Dark skinned women are often mocked and considered not as pretty. A lot of people, mainly women but also men, use dangerous products to lighten their skin. Internalized racism and white beauty standards are very insidious, and a lot of people want to look like white people, including me when I was younger. As a kid I remember wishing i was a pretty blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl like the heroines of the books i was reading. Growing up I stopped wishing that, but I relaxed and straightened my hair a lot, wanting to have long straight hair without realizing that it was still an attempt to look like the ideal version of a white girl. I’m sure that if I had more black female characters to relate to when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have spend so many years hating myself without even realizing I was doing it.
Also, Cameroonians usually consider thick, curvy women to be the ideal beauty standard. But being thin is still an ideal broadcast by the media (especially that american and european media are heavily broadcast and consumed in Cameroon) so most women still diet a lot and go to the gym to lose weight.
Women wear a lot of skirts and dresses, be it casual or for work. Most cameroonian schools have uniforms and mandatory hairstyles (either cornrows or short shaved hair).
Elderly people often wear more traditional clothes and outfits. The most prominent traditional item of clothing is the Kaba. The Kaba is a long dress made of wax fabric and other materials and is owned by pretty much every woman. The dress looks different depending on the situation : the Kaba you wear when you stay at home is usually very long and very loose, the Kaba you wear during official/formal events is more tight-fitting and stylized, etc.
Dating and Relationships
I’ve never dated anyone, but when I was in high school none of my friends ever told their parents they were seeing someone. Having your parents know about and meet the person you’re dating after only a few weeks or months is something that just doesn’t happen (unless someone gets pregnant). It’s when things get serious that you introduce them to your family. Also, a lot of parents would prefer their children to marry someone from the same ethnic group.
Homosexuality is still illegal there, and you can go to jail for being gay.
My parents are still happily married, and I have 3 siblings. My parents are both close to their siblings, and I’m close to mine. Me and my siblings grew up with our cousins, we were always at each other’s houses. I pretty much consider most of my cousins as extra siblings. We have a very big extended family and every day I discover new distant cousins, aunts, great-uncles etc. My dad being half-french, when I was growing up we sometimes went to France during summer to visit his relatives living there.
In Cameroon, most people who have enough money to do so send their children to study abroad once they’ve graduated high school. I’m currently living in France for my studies, and most of my high school friends are also going to college in France, England, Canada, Brussels, South Africa etc.
Despite being only ¼ white, I’m very light-skinned. My siblings being much darker skinned, when I was a kid I thought I was adopted (i’m not, it’s just genetics). Cameroon being a black country, when someone is visibly mixed and light-skinned as i am, most people just label them “white”. A lot of people would refer to me as “the white” and it always really hurt me. My family wouldn’t understand why i was so angry and hurt, they’d say “they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that you’re light” but the fact is it made me feel like i don’t belong. I’m cameroonian, i’ve lived in Cameroon almost my entire life, i’m black, and still some people see me as “other”, they see me as white. And so for a long time, I didn’t dare to call myself black, I’d say “I’m biracial” or “I’m mixed” instead because I somehow felt like a fraud. But I’m black and not white-passing at all, and I still experience racism abroad (but I’m aware I have a lot more privilege than dark skinned people).
So I’m currently living in France. On one hand, sometimes white people are racist toward me, or just totally obnoxious and ignorant, trying to touch my natural hair and thinking that people in Cameroon don’t have computers or whatever. On the other hand, when I randomly meet other cameroonians and we start talking, they always assume that because i’m mixed i’ve lived my entire life in France and i don’t know anything about Cameroon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a child of immigrants and not knowing the country your parents or grandparents came from, but i know that if i wasn’t visibly mixed they wouldn’t question the fact that i know Cameroon and lived there my entire life.
Because of how the media depict African countries, a lot of people think that everyone in Africa is extremely poor and starving, that we don’t have electricity and internet and that everyone lives in huts. Which is so false. We have rich people and poor people, we have huge modern cities and regular cities and small villages with huts, almost everyone has access to a tv and internet, etc.
Things I’d like to see less of
Cameroon and other african countries being depicted as poor unfortunate countries where everyone is starving and illiterate and waiting for the generous white people to save us. What we need is for people to see us as the humans we are, and to allow us to grow in peace.
Things I’d like to see more of
Black african characters being written as the complex human beings we are. Shy black african characters. Nerdy and hella smart black african characters. Mixed black african characters who struggle with their identity. LGBTQ black african characters.
Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.
The “savage”, “uncivilized” african. African characters who are aggressive, dumb and shout all the time. The poor africans in need of saving by white people.
Sexist grammar burns into the brains of little girls and young women a message that the male is the norm, the standard, the central figure beside which we are all deviants, the marginal, the dependent variables. It lays the foundation for androcentric thinking, and leaves men safe in their solipsistic tunnel-vision.
Hi, y’all! This is @ontologicalprior at @omgcpbigbang bringing you the 2017 Check, Please! Big Bang. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a Big Bang is a fandom event where authors write fanfic of a certain minimum length and then artists collaborate with them to make art based on their fic. For this Bang, the minimum requirements will be 20,000 words for authors and 2 pieces of art for artists. All participants will be invited to a chat room on Slack where they can talk, plan, and commiserate with each other. Announcements and deadline reminders will be made on the Slack and using the Tumblr tag #omgcpbigbang. The schedule is as follows:
May 12: Sign-ups open for authors, artists, beta readers, and pinch-hitters.
June 16: Author sign-ups close.
July 1: First author check-in.
August 1: Second author check-in. Fics should be at least 50% completed, with an outline for the rest.
September 1: Fic summaries and drafts are due. Drafts must be at least 80% completed. This is the last day an author can drop out.
September 15: Fic summaries posted. Artist signups close.
September 18: Artist claims open at 12:00 PM Central Standard time.
October 6: First artist check-in. Final fics are due and must be 100% completed.
So as you may know, Thomas Sanders’ birthday is coming up (April 24), and I was hoping that we could all sing happy birthday to him, so I wanted to make a video of as many people as possible singing happy birthday to him, along with fanart to put into the video.
So, if you want to contribute, you can either send a video or sound file of yourself singing happy birthday if you want to sing, or you can send an image file of artwork (as long as it’s your own, I will be reverse image searching) to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Please also make sure to include your tumblr username so I can tag you.
I will be accepting things until the 22nd of April at 11:59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (1:59pm UTC, 7:59am American Central Standard Time); this will give me all of the next day to compile everything ready for Thomas’ birthday.
Thanks if you contribute, and even if you can’t, please share this, and also the video so that Thomas sees it.
As we’re hitting the second half of Wolf 359’s final season, we wanted to start putting together a little wrap gift for the W359 cast and crew.
We’re going to get a box, and then we’re going to fill that box with letters and art from the Wolf fandom, then we’re going to mail that box to New York, and when it arrives… there will probably be tears. Really this is just returning some of the emotions they’ve given us over the last three years.
As we’d like this to be a surprise, please make sure you tag with “wolf 359 not for creator”
If you are interested in participating, please click the link below for more information!
Deadline for this is December 20! The form will be closed to electronic submissions at 11:59 PM Central Standard Time on December 20. For those who will be mailing in work, please make sure you post in time for your mail to reach the New Orleans area by December 20!
Cora, @tomhollandxreader and I are so excited to announce the topic for tonight’s blurb night!!! The winning topic is Peter Parker, with a grand total of 142 votes!!
So, please start sending in your blurbs and writing based on peter parker, these can be just your thoughts on him, requests for writing about/involving him etc!!
You can also include Peter Parker!AUs, (such as College!Peter, or Dad!Peter) if you’d like!!
Blurb night will officially start at 8pm CST (central standard time) PLEASE send me and Cora your requests, prompts, writing and thoughts! We are so excited and this is going to be so much fun!!! If you’re busy tonight, you can send something in at any time and we will post it with full credit to you during blurb night tonight!!!! Even if you don’t think you’re very good at writing, I will treasure anything you send in. You can also send in other related work, @lightningkid394 made a super cool moodboard based on our topic that will be posted at the start of blurb night!!! I am so excited and thank you to everyone who has/will participated it means the world to me!!
I’m going to tag some lovely people so that this hopefully doesn’t flop!! So sorry if you’re tagged twice or something like that!! Love you all very dearly!
As a technical term, the “high” in High German is a geographical reference to the group of dialects that forms “High German” (i.e. “Highland” German), out of which developed Standard German, Yiddish, and Luxembourgish. It refers to the Central Uplands (Mittelgebirge) and Alpine areas of central and southern Germany, it also includes Luxembourg, Austria, Liechtenstein, and most of Switzerland. This is opposed to Low German, which is spoken on the lowlands and along the flat sea coasts of the North German Plain. High German in this broader sense can be subdivided into Upper German (Oberdeutsch, this includes Austrian and Swiss German dialects), Central German (Mitteldeutsch, this includes Luxembourgish, which itself is now a standard language), and High Franconian which is a transitional dialect between the two. High German (in the broader sense) is distinguished from other West Germanic varieties in that it took part in the High German consonant shift (c. AD 500). To see this, compare English/Low German (Low Saxon) pan/Pann with Standard German Pfanne ([p] to [p͡f]), English/Low German two/twee with Standard German zwei ([t] to [t͡s]), English/Low German make/maken with Standard German machen ([k] to [x]). In the southernmost High Alemannic dialects, there is a further shift; Sack (like English/Low German “sack/Sack”) is pronounced [z̥ak͡x] ([k] to [k͡x]).
Divisions between subfamilies within Germanic are rarely precisely defined, because most form continuous clines, with adjacent dialects being mutually intelligible and more separated ones not. In particular, there has never been an original “Proto-High German”. For this and other reasons, the idea of representing the relationships between West Germanic language forms in a tree diagram at all is controversial among linguists. What follows should be used with care in the light of this caveat.
* Its family is: Indo-European » Italic » Romance » Italian.
* Italian is the 5th-most taught non-native language, after English, French, Spanish, and German.
* Italian is spoken by 60-65 million people.
* It's regulated by “Accademia della Crusca”.
* Italian is ranked 19th on the “List of Languages by number of native speakers”.
* Mostly spoken in Italy, but also in communities in Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Argentina, Brazil, the USA, Australia, Luxembourg, and some places in Africa.
* It is not uncommon for Italian-speakers to also speak a dialect particular to the region where they live.
* Dialects of Italian are regional varieties (Tuscan, Central Italian) which are closely related to Standard Italian, while the terms Dialects of Italy is suggested for those idioms, such as Neapolitan, Sicilian, and Gallo-Italian languages which show considerable differences in grammar, syntax and vocabulary. The dialects of Italian identified by the Ethnologue (an encyclopedic reference work cataloging all of the world’s 6,912 known living languages) are: Piedmontese, Valdôtain (Valdoten), Lombard, Ticinese, Venetian, Talian, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Ligurian, Tuscan (the base of modern Standard Italian), Corsican, Central Italian dialects (like Umbrian, Marchigiano, Romanesco, Laziale, Abruzzese, Molisano), Inner Southern Italian dialects, Pugliese, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Calabrian.
* Many of the so-called dialects of Italian spoken around the country are different enough from standard Italian to be considered separate languages by most linguists.
Ritual purity featured heavily in worship in ancient Greece, with water basins called perorrhanteria, established near the entrances to temples; and stoas found bearing inscriptions that command visitors to cleanse themselves before entering the sanctuary. The nature of ritual purity changed over time and location, as with most aspects of worship in ancient Greece, but the ritual act of purification remained an important one.
sooo i realize that in japan it is currently our boy’s bday but,,, i was not prepared to celebrate today so i’m gonna wait until it’s the 15th for me(central standard time). y’all better be ready to party tomorrow!!
I’ve got a fabulously smutty Construction! Jensen coming tonight at 9:30 (ish) central/standard time thanks to the pushing of Beka and the video posted on the family business beer company’s Facebook page today.
I got the working Jensen feels and that came out in some hot, sweaty sex.
hey, i’m streaming “it’s the great pumpkin charlie brown” tonight (october 14, 2017)at 7 pm (central standard time)! i’ll give the rabbit link once it gets to be around 6:30 or so. come watch if you wanna!
1. no audio/voice chat! it drowns out the movie audio and it’s distracting. if you wanna chat with the movie group, feel free to use the chat messaging system but please no audio.
2.no edgy/bigoted language. that means no racial slurs, homophobia, transphobia, you know the drill. let’s keep the chat inclusive and welcoming for everyone!
3.no discourse! this kind of goes along with rule #2 but no discourse regarding social/political issues or agere communities. again, let’s keep the chat inclusive for everyone!
these rules are non-negotiable. but don’t be too anxious about it, just be nice in the chat and have fun watching the movie!!🎃👻