Friday, July 29, 2005
BIKO(PLEASE)PRAY FOR QUEEN ELIZAH
Were iru-oma Gi lekwasi Eze-nwanyi ayi (Look Upon our Queen with favor)
I love Queen Elizabeth and all, but why does the 'Igbo Book of Prayers and Hymnals' have a special prayer for her. Just in case you were wondering, yes I can also read, write and sing in Igbo(I cannot sing in English, I sound like William Hung). But back to the topic, I understand prayers for our leaders and all, but a special prayer and litany for the Queen, 45 years after colonialism is quite baffling. I guess they have not bothered to update the book. Speaking of the Queen and colonial days, I don't know what she did back then but many old women, especially Ibos always seem to be worried about her. One of my grand aunts (she is really my mom's oldest sister, but she is very elderly so we call her grand ma) who lives in the village was always so concerned about the Queen and the Queen mother, and how much stress and embarrassment the children were bringing the aging royalties. I guess she is fond of her because there's this dust smitten black and white picture of her late husband who was a doctor and botanist (no, not a Gardner), in his white robe shaking the Queen during her trip to Nigeria in 1956. I doubt that frame has moved from that spot since her husband's death. I don't blame the woman for being fascinated with the Queen, I am fascinated by her too. She's such a doll of a granny and many of her 'subjects' of the same age group sort of identify with her. I am sure they, like I, take it personal when people say they want the monarchy gone. Are they out of their minds? What's the world without kings and queens, princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, Castles and Palaces? It would just be a world full of ordinary people and wanna-be royalties typeof the Hollywood and politics stock. A world without royal scandals and gossip, means more face time for Paris Hilton and reality show winners. And do you know how many people could potentially join the poverty line if the Daily Mirror et al should go under. I hate to imagine it in the first place. So I guess 'queenie' does need a litany of prayers after all, and with the way Ibo women can wail and cry mountain moving and ocean drying prayers, I'm sure she'll be aight. Anyhow, this book is interesting, I am going to brush up on my Igbo, by reading some of the passages and prayers, as in since I cannot learn French, I might as well perfect my own language. God forbids, but you never know which third worlders and ethnic group will be in vogue. In the nineties it was Hispanics, now it's the Arabs and Pakistanis, you just never know these days.