Stories of Kindness from Around the World

How Babemba Tribe Forgives


--by brighteyes, posted Sep 26, 2007

In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the centre of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual.

Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a  time, each recalling the good things the person in the centre of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted.  All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length.  This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days.

At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration  takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.

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Readers Comments

David wrote: Okay, so just out of curiosity, what is the rate of crime in places like this?
Khurusâb wrote: Babemba are amapembe in south africa i mean white people dnt knw a jack abt african tribes
Martha wrote: This mis-quote and excerpt was taken from the book contact:the first four minutes, by leonard zunin. The quote is nearly exact, although zunin writes that the tribe is in 'southern africa', (ie, zambia). Zunin also gives a bit more detail, but this information was otherwise lifted word-for-word.

It's good to see the information brought to a wider audience, and the concept is remarkable, but the source should be acknowledged.
Coral wrote: The babemba tribe is not from south africa, but rather from southern africa. They make their home in the countries of zambia and the congo.
Nickgrand wrote: Thank you!
ieiblue wrote: hi bright... it takes a lot in my part to forgive the guy I almost married but went away but I think forgiveness paves the way for me to really move on... hold on more to God and to friends....thank you... ;p
Shriraj wrote: Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.

- Mark Twain

Life at best is a struggle, and at worst is barely worth living.

And that's just the REAL world. So, Enjoy it today, for there
is no telling what tomorrow may bring.

So, Let's learn to forgive . . . .
AURELIA wrote: We all make mistakes, and it is wonderful to be forgiven. Peace. ~Aurelia
fatma wrote: Forgiveness is great!

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