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October 18, 2019
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ARE SOMALIS LOSING THEIR IDENTITY?

 

Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. Patriotism is the pedestal of development in a majority of countries.

Language is an important pillar of the Somali identity, Unfortunately, part of this identity is getting lost, As Somalis moved around a whole generation is having a foreign language as their first language, the Somali language needs rescue, it is well known fact, Somali language is part of the Somali culture, Somalis generally feel that much of their culture is tied up in their language, so they must keep up the language in order to maintain their culture.

 

Somalis in the west are facing identity crisis thus leading to lack of patriotism. You can’t blame them. First, there was a deadly war and despair when they were born. It was then followed by disruptive politics thickened by tribalism with no intellectual basis. When there is keen interest on native language, it is easier to get an identity especially as a

global citizen. More and more locals would go like, “I grew up here”, or “I live here now” when it is apparent that their vernacular is kaput. However, more and more individuals are now coming to the realization that claiming their identity as Somalis gives importance to their homeland.

They are acknowledging their patriotic duty to value their country, work on their land, cultivate and invest in their people. It would be great if the government inspired patriotism in the youth by ensuring that policies aimed at protecting the Somali languages are put in place. In fact, before anything else, the interests of a country should come first. A redline must be drawn.

This is across the board for the Somalis and in the future, a whole generation of Somalis will be lacking part of their identity, which is their language, if they fail to recognize their history. In a paper, titled Identity and Sense of Belonging of Young Somali Men in a Western Context: Case Studies from Melbourne and Minneapolis a young man in Minneapolis said this to the interviewer.

Next generation is going to be different… no one is planning to go back to Somalia. When they have kids, [and] when I have kids they will not be speaking Somali language basically… Most likely, most of them will forget Somali culture and will stick with American culture, whatever like black, white and they act like them (a young man from Minneapolis). This only shows the situation is dire and how many Somalis in the west are feeling a disconnection from their homeland.

 

For the Somalis who remained in their motherland it is important to note that there is no link between patriotism and economic development – it is however does have visible effects. Patriotism is caring; therefore, it should reveal itself in actions such as contributing directly towards development through jobs, employment, entrepreneurship, investment or caring through positive responses, constructive criticism, and active citizenship engagement.

 

But with the civil war, Somalis are becoming less patriotic and losing their identity, this has caused the red line for Somalis to be crossed which was the sovereignty of the Somali people, Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies.

While Somalis disagreed on number of thing sovereignty of their land was not one of them, but the fact is this identity has now been lost, the country is divided into a number of state that are acting like a country on their own.

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