Many people say “home is where I live peacefully” when asked where is home. But many Africans living in Germany view that differently as statistics show that 95% of them are believed to be only enthusiastic to go through the German foreign integration process in order to win themselves bureaucratic freedom, but in reality, only 5% of them were ready to embrace the German culture and traditions. However, situation seemed to be gradually taking a different dimension as Africans across the country are now embracing many aspects of the German clture and traditions. A glaring example to that is the mammoth turn-up over the weekend of Sierra Leoneans to celebrate school enrollment party for twelve (12) children belonging to various families of Sierra Leonean compatriots living across Berlin, which is a showcase of their systematic imitation of the German traditions.
Sierra Leoneans usually celebrate picnics, convocations etc. but a special party for a newly enrolled pupil can be viewed by many as a waste of resources. Unlike in Germany, school enrollment events (Einschulungsfeier) are more honored than university convocations as the event is celebrated every year with families and friends presenting their school beginners with several expensive gifts added to the traditional Schültute, a school-sack which usually contains hundreds of Euros’ cost of learning materials, sweets and chocolates.
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The event which attracted hundreds of guest including Europeans from the nook and cranny of the German federal capital, was referred to by many attendees as the best ever in the history of the Sierra Leonean community in Berlin
In his opening remarks, Mr. Sidikie Coker, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Community in Berlin/Brandenburg (SLCBB), stressed the importance of the event as not only an eating, drinking and dancing feast, but a real showcase of cooperation and unity among the Sierra Leoneans living in Berlin. He further expressed a sincere thanks to the parents and friends of the newly enrolled pupils for making the event possible, and invited other members of the community do likewise in successive years: “Ladies and gentlemen, every one of us knows that education is the key to development, and the school beginners’ event comes but once a year. I therefore seize this opportunity to encourage every member of our community to cooperate with us in honor of similar days in years to come, hence the absolute commitment and dedication of my leadership to celebrate it with you is concretely assured”.
Presenting “certificates of motivation” to the children, Mr. Othman Sheriff, Editor of Critique Echo Newspaper who is the current Financial Secretary of the union, referred to education as the most powerful instrument that makes Europe better that Africa and not the wealth stolen during the colonial era, because education is the security for wealth and not the other way round. “I hope these certificates shall serve you as objects of motivation that could lead you to attain the highest standard of education” he stated in a joyous mood while handing the certificate to the twelve pupils.
In her sentimental remarks, the event moderator, Mrs. Patricia Sama, recalled how she introduced to the community the idea of the school enrollment event while serving as chairman in one of the union’s past regimes. She thanked the current executive for following her footsteps referring to the current event as the “most successful” with a dozen participants.
Foods and drinks consumed at the party were served free of cost and every attendee left with a great satisfaction as everything was provided in abundance.