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Maasai Girls

Oct 23, 2017Accents, Articles, Canadian, Education, Female, Japanese, Life&Food

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At what age do you want to get married?


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Yamashita Haruka: Ah, wha- what was the name of the tribe?

José Cruz: Maasai.

Haruka: Ah! Maasai. About marriage of the younger girls who were born in Maasai. (Mm-hmm) Right?

José: Mm-hmm. What did you think of that?

Haruka: Well, I actually have learned uh the same kind of thing in the (Cool) university class- university the the cla- in the class which is held in my university. (Mm) And uh in that class I learned about the, uh in Japanese we we called it uh katsurei.

José: What does that mean?

Haruka: Just like um, at certain age when um, in that kind of like, African countries- In African countries, when the girl uh turn to a certain age like maybe five or six, (Mm-hmm) when they are still young (Mm-hmm) uh their family, like especially their mother or their grand- grandmother take her take her (Mm-hmm) to the kind of like uh, not a magician, but just like…

José: Uh, um like a- a “witch doctor” (Ah yeah!) or a (A witch doctor) medicine (Yeah) “medicine man” or a “medicine woman”.

Haruka: Yeah. Uh yes and they take to the- that kind of- They take her to that kind of woman (A medicine woman) Yeah medicine woman and they- uh she cut the certain part of her…

José: Th- they they do a female circumcision.

Haruka: Yes! We call it katsurei.

José: Ah, that’s what that is. OK. Female circumcision.

Haruka: Female circum- circumcis...

José: Circumcision. (Circumcisions) Because there’s male circumcision (Mm-hmm) or usually we just call that circumcision, (Uh-huh) and for women uh that is female circumcision. (Yeah. OK) When you first heard about that, what did you think?

Haruka: I was I was just, I was just so shocked about it. And I couldn’t imagine that, that I- If If I were in that situation, like maybe I feel that there’s no freedom, and like I’m just like there’s no human right for me. Maybe I feel so.

José: It’s hard to imagine what those girls are really thinking, because for somebody like you, you can only think about that situation as yourself. Here you are, you’re…

Haruka: Yeah yeah. From my place.

José: Right. You’re a modern girl, in a modern country, with modern dreams, with modern potential, (Yeah) in a modern educational situation (Yeah exactly) and suddenly you you think to this tradition to this culture that is completely separate from you. But those girls their mothers have been talking about it, their grandmothers talk about it (Mm) their sisters talk about it, to them it’s all perfectly normal. (Mm) Um I’m sure they’re probably shocked by the pain, (Yeah) but their setting is completely different.

Haruka: I- I think so. And I like- It’s- I- I’m quite sure they have no idea about, like, how should I say, this is right or wrong. But, uh I- as I said you before she is- I mean they were they will be so shocked about that pain. And just but- how- they they didn’t get certain education so maybe they just so shocked and- but they… Mm, what are you going to do? They have to accept it maybe.


Are there arranged marriages in your country?

If YOU were being forced into a marriage, what would you do?

Haruka uses good fluency tactics, using filler words like, “um” to maintain her speaking rate. She is also good at repeating parts of her phrases so she doesn’t stop talking just because she couldn’t immediately say a word or phrase properly.

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Yamashita Haruka image

Yamashita Haruka


Oita City, Oita

José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia


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