Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Day

If you can't be in the US for the presidential election, it's pretty neat to be in Kenya. On Monday, my favorite TV news show called the race in favor of Obama. Never mind that no one in the States had voted yet. They just knew. Today, again before the results were in, the Kenyan president announced a public holiday on Thursday in honor of the country's native son. It's crazy, but I'm not going to argue with a day off. They also believe that, because he is Kenyan, Africa will be at the top of his agenda. I have read this in the media and it surprises me that people insist it is true.

Most Kenyans are extremely enthusiastic about Obama's win. However, due to tribalism, there are some factions, specifically the Kikuyu, who are not supporters. American Kikuyus had initially supported Clinton, but when she dropped out, they mobilized to throw their support to McCain as they would not support Obama's tribe, the Luo. That didn't stop the locals in Obama's ancestral village, Kogelo, though. They slaughtered a cow in honor of his victory and carted his grandmother out in front of media. In other towns throughout the country, celebrations took place and news reports showed people dancing in the streets. I'm not sure what some of the symbolism is, but in one town, people danced with tree branches and in another, with dead fish.

I suspect it will be a while before the excitement dies down, but it's certainly better that the country bands together in celebration rather than a repeat of the violence that occurred earlier this year.

3 comments:

Michael said...

We're (well, many of us) are celebrating here too, but less colorfully. Thankfully, no dead fish have been sighted! Pretty cool that you're witnessing the celebration there first-hand.

The Life and Times of Donovan said...

Don't be shy....show us the picture of you and the slaughtered cow....

Greg said...

Yeah most of us are celebrating here too. Anne and I were watching the story from Kenya wondering if you partook in the slaughtered cow.
So the best thing here is Boston right wing radio hosts in the morning are whining and crying! Ah some things in life make me feel good :-)