Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world


“When in Rome, do as the Romans.”  This was advice commonly given to young travellers many years ago.  It applies less today, when global travel means that people can go anywhere, easily, and sometimes assume they can take their own customs and beliefs and practices with them.

But not always.  Back-packers can be flung into jail for possessing drugs in certain Eastern countries. Two Congolese were prosecuted in London recently for killing a child they believed to be a witch. ‘Honour’ killings – accepted as reasonable in some places – are treated in UK in the same way as other murders.

The starting point of my three books was the Kalilozi Gun. It appeared in Barotseland in the 1950’s when the death-dealing power of a magical stick pointed at an enemy was improved by the addition of  a small tube and some primitive gunpowder. It became an inefficient firearm, but good enough to re-inforce the spell. It was imaginative cross-cultural transfer. My interest in such things has lasted sixty years.

People now arrive in western countries from all corners of the world. They are probably bringing with them a host of beliefs and practices of which we are completely unaware and which we might regard as evil if we discovered them. “It could not happen here!” Is that a common view? It could be wrong.





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