Tradition and Customs in So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba

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Tradition and Customs in So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba

Tradition and customs very often hold an important position in ones life and culture. The novel So Long A Letter, by Mariama Ba, is based on the Senegalese culture and shows how important tradition is in Africa. The novel is a series of letters written by a recently widowed woman, Ramatoulaye, to her best friend Aissatou. The transition through the many grieving stages and traditional mourning events are explained, as well as a woman?s place in a Senegalese society and family.

According to Muslim tradition, which was the dominant tradition in Senegal, when Ramatoulaye?s husband, Modou, passed away, she had to mourn over her loss for three months. During this time, friends and family members gathered in her house to accompany her. One of the traditions, which she wasn?t too fond of, was having to give up her possessions and belongings as gifts to her in-laws, as well as her deceased husband?s personal secrets. This whole process was a way of giving up herself as a person. ?Beyond her possessions she gives up her ...
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