Yes, I have seen them everywhere in Europe, many African women walk behind a pram, often a very expensive one. Is this a status thing? Just like a big car?
I am also an African woman who is absolutely awkward with a pram.. After I walked so often with my own babies in the sling, I came to a point where I wondered how the African woman or family transported their baby’s in Europe. Would they know whether this is or can be a norm in the West? A lot pf people from Africa do not dare practicing their culture in Western countries because of the brainwashing, slavery and colonialism has left a negative impact on many. Just watch the behaviour of no selfacceptance.
Every time I carry a baby on my back, I often get positive reactions and sometimes many questions from people who do not know anything about the art behind carrying culture.
Ignorant privileged Western people who oftenly think that they are civilized than Africans. Such that they end up automatically correcting you wothout even them thinking whether you thought this through. Therefore even starting their own organisations to help so called poor Africans.
Oftenly some Western people wonder whether:
- Carrying a baby at my back is not harmful for my back
- I’m not afraid that the baby can suddenly fall especially when carrying at my back
- How long I can wear such a baby, and if the baby is not too heavy
- Until what age can I carry such a baby and from what age can I start
- Some questions sounded too ignorant in my ears, but nevertheless they wanted to learn. d
When I answer, I give examples like, think of runners from Africa, think of the percentage of elderly people who do not get a hip correction, operation of replacement.
The above questions are quite genuine, given that babywearing is not really well practiced as the norm in Europe. The ones who do are mostly considered alternative or those who have once traveled to Africa or Asia.
An average newborn mom takes a pram. She did not learn it differently, she does not have enough role models who use a #mbereko system.
What do African parents say including expats and diasporas
Between all those people who comment when I am carrying my baby, there are also African women who do occasionally make a comment such as:
- I do carry my baby only in my home for practical reasons.
- How brave of you that you walk on the street with a mbereko in Europe.
- My grandmothers used to do it in rural areas too that is very primitive and the ones who would say this are most South American people, and sometimes West Africans.
- Is it allowed to walk with a baby in this way here in Europe? or can’t you afford to buy a proper pram?
- I did not know you could do this outside, and why do people not do it here? and
that goes on and on.
What I then realized was that African people or diaspora in general have not even thought whether carrying of baby’s could be one of the most important behavior in life.
They have never thought of finding out the reason why, carrying your baby is actually one of the best ways to bond with your baby. It has even been suggested that carrying your baby is a sign of poverty, that is why one is feel liberated when buying a pram
On the other hand, some Africans who may have wanted to carry their baby’s in diaspora may have come across non ergonomic carrying systems and immediately felt that something was not right
I am going to tell the Africans I know, that they are better off using #mbereko or #Torsobabywearingslings. Nothing is more natural than how we practice it in Africa, just like animals that do not need anything else than nature itself.