Vitu Vidogo - Small Things

By Hafidh Haji

Family is happiness. Happiness comes from being around the people you love. It’s telling stories and laughing about the memories we made with each other. 

One of my fondest memories of being in Zanzibar, Tanzania is sitting with my family eating chipsi-kuku together after the Maghrib prayer, and eating together as a family. I remember the taste of the salty fries coming down my throat and the slippery feeling of the ketchup dripping down my fingers. Eating together is a Swahili tradition that brings unity to our families. 

 It is sharing food with our family and friends that we love to become closer to on another. Family is greeting one another every morning to respect one another to simply show that we care. Being born in Canada, my parents work hard to teach me the Swahili language. Even though I am 10 years I struggle to find words to make sentences. When we talk to our family back home, I often look at my sister to help me to have a conversation with my relatives. Even though I struggle, my family back is comforted by the fact that I am doing well. Even though we are far from each other, we still make the effort to communicate with each other whether on the phone or on What’s App.

My grandmothers are important women in my life. They tell me stories about my parents and how they were in their days. My grandmothers are highly respected elders and we treat with respect by greeting them shikamoo. This greeting is important because in Swahili traditions we show heshima to our elders because they are members of our family that have sacrificed a lot for us. Not even an ahsante sana can describe the thanks we give to our elders and wazazi for their hard work and dedication to our family. The small things that we do for each other in our family brings furaha, nguvu and umoja.