A resource for reliable information about significant people, places, events, and things in Minnesota history. Political candidate Ilhan Omar on the campaign trail, October 4, Omar won her election in and became the first Somali person to join the Minnesota State Legislature. Although the first Somalis to arrive in Minnesota were students and scholars, the majority of Somalis who live in the state in the s came as refugees fleeing a civil war in their homeland. Like earlier immigrant communities, Somalis have struggled to figure out where they belong and how to maintain cultural traditions as they adjust to living in a new place. Somalis face discrimination both as Africans in America and as Muslims in America. In spite of these challenging conditions, they have forged livelihoods and created a thriving community in Minnesota for more than twenty years. Traditionally, Somalis are nomadic pastoralists, though agricultural systems developed in the nation’s southern river valleys. The capital city of Mogadishu and other urban areas have been important sites for industrial development and trade.
Somali events in London, United Kingdom
Literature on sexuality in Somalia has various focuses, from courtship, the motives behind FGM, extended singleness, marriage and the relationship between the sexes. It usually has a heterosexual focus, and norms surrounding sexuality can differ between each national depending on levels of religiosity, conservatism, location as well as other factors although a common Somali culture exists. Calmasho is a more serious form of courtship and typically involves a view towards marriage.
The calmasho process may place a greater level if encumbrance upon the male than the female due to the meher stipulation whereby money is exchanged from man to woman, whereby the woman can set any price; or for introverted men, the doonasho , soo doonis or geedh fadhiisi process, whereby a man is required to inquire about his courtee to her male relative, usually her father. A common tradition is for a senior elder from the groom’s side to act on behalf of the groom.
Once an agreement exists, another occasion is set for this to be formalised during the nikah procession wherein instead a “male guardian” or imam enacts the giving away of the bride.
Abdi Latif Dahir meets the women competing to push cultural boundaries in male-dominated Somaliland. He is not the only person jeering at the women running in this 10km race, part of an annual event that includes a marathon, where more than of the contestants this year are men. But some spectators have kinder words. The marathon began two years ago as a fundraiser for education in Somaliland , which declared independence from Somalia in , creating its own parliament, currency and flag.
The breakaway region, in the northwest of Somalia , is not recognised internationally. But in contrast to areas in the south, which are plagued by clan infighting and terrorism, Somaliland is an oasis — attracting tourists, hosting a prominent literary festival and even enticing multinationals like Coca-Cola. The running events are part of this cultural and commercial outreach, with athletes from all over the world participating.
Each year, more and more Somali women have been competing, though only in the 10km event. The increased participation reflects how life is changing, albeit slowly, for women here.
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I was never one of those girls growing up who pictured her fairy tale wedding. There were no princess dresses or flower bouquets. And yet, somehow I grew up sensationalizing interracial couples and deeming those who marry outside the Somali community as daring.
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Across town in St. Paul, two Macalester College professors — one Somali-American, the other African-American — know well the culture clash that sometimes flares between two peoples who share the same race but not the same story. Ahmed Samatar, an international studies professor at Macalester who is Somali-American, agreed. Their cultural background is different. Historical background is different.
And yet they are in intimate spaces together. For their part, some African-Americans feel the disrespect and perceive that the new Africans are getting a bit better treatment from the larger community. For example, the gathering of scores of Somali men outside a coffeehouse at night in Minneapolis is accepted, but would the same be true if the men were black Americans? The latest major immigration wave has added complexity to race and cultural relations, El-Kati said.
We need to be talking not just to our kids, but take it out to the communities and to the families.
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