Cameroon. It doesn’t sound completely new to you. Then how much do you know about Cameroon? First of all, is it located in the eastern of Africa or in the western? If you are familiar to Cameroon, probably you might be a big soccer fan. Cameroon is the country brought sensational wave of soccer to Africa by winning strong team, Argentina in Italy World Cup in 1990. Most people might remember Cameroon to that extent. So Cameroonians who live in Korea volunteered to introduce their country.
Hello~ Cameroon. In the afternoon of August 13th, event at talking spoon, shared space in World Culture Open Korea was like village party. Handwriting at the entrance was the most popular. Visitors with diverse nationality and skin colors completed the map of Cameroon by handprinting. It was full of happy laughter taking pictures of each other with their hands that have paint on.
The event beginning with sharing prepared food and watermelon was started with quiz from Ernest Teke, representative of Cameroon. Where Cameroon was located that I mention in the beginning was from this quiz. The right answer is West.
The number of being qualified for World Cup? It’s seven times. Cameroon was Olympic champion. Through cheerful air in the beginning, Teke went on asking serious question towards the end. What is the biggest problem that Cameroon has? Cameroon has two national languages : English and French. It is because Cameroon used to be colony of many western countries for a long time.
He said that conflicts between minority of English speakers with a lot of resources and majority of French speakers in barren area became frequent. It reminds me of painful times of African continent including Cameroon by his saying that he is considering how Cameroon can live as one country with bonding and sharing cultures even if it has two different languages in Africa where 250 tribes are distributed.
After Teke’s speech, Cameroonian folk performance was followed. Once pieces of wood in the bag were put on the mold which looks like xylophone, it became musical instrument. Light sound that wood makes crashing into each other and sounding in the air sounds likes it keeps memory of traveling African plains in old times.
As rhythms of the instruments quickens, a man with African unique mask showed up. Wooden pieces on his ankles bump into each other just like gaiters. Rhythm got quicken and the man started to spin around and around at the same spot. The sound that wooden pieces make bumping into each other got intense.
Raw aboriginality which might hide somewhere in human memories from the ancient times when mankind pray to nature that human cannot help before going hunting enveloped event hall. When the raging sound of instruments stopped in a moment, the audience let out exclamation at once.
Surprisingly, it was not experts that prepared all this event and got audience inspired. It was ordinary people who are working for a living in Korea. In the last half of event when I heard that they participated in this event investing their times voluntarily to introduce their home country, Cameroon during weekend, the time that they should take rest for the upcoming work, then I could understand Teke’s look of passion.