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

Kyriakos Tsitonakis wrote: Whether the account is based on fact or not, the truth is witnessed to our souls. You hear and you believe that to forgive and to extend grace is divine. The spirit of god witnesses the truth into the soul. This is life.

If it were never proven whether this tribe exists, the account in your hearing bears witness to your conscience.

It is an act of faith to forgive. For your hope is grounded in that which you cannot see

Grace is the highest form of love, to extend mercy and forgiveness when judgement and punishment are justified by the law. But the highest law is love and love is to forgive. For god is love.
brownin329 wrote: I know this is way old but there is a book: t ​ contact, the first four minutes​by leonard sunin. He describes the bemba or babema tribe in so. Africa doing this ritual.
Viterose Van huis wrote: We can only do this when we know and practice ubuntu. The south africans understand ubuntu principle, "a person is a person through other persons".
Veta wrote: I actually saw the tribe doing this on the history channel. I couldn't recall the name of the tribe. This is how i came across this website. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Wendolyn Bird wrote: This is a wonderful tale. However, it does not appear to be based on facts. No one so far has been able to prove that there is such a tribe that does this. Be that as it may, it is beautiful and it would be great to begin to integrate such custom.
Mark wrote: Could you do that with d trump?
Mazduda Hassan wrote: Could not find any source to confirm the story. I really wished for it to be true though.
Stacy wrote: What is the name of this ceremony?
Steve Patrick wrote: When a friend told me about encountering this story, i felt passionate and joyful about things like this that happen in life. Thank you for bringing this story to light by posting it here. Just knowing this exists makes my living better everyday. I've told the story to many people already in less than a week. I am grateful for the smilegroup and wish you all peaceful playfulness :-).

Steve patrick

P . S . There is a book on amazon called "a whole of the whole". It tells how i came to see and sense that blame and judgment never benefit life. I don't call it my book because, when i read it, it strikes me as though life was the author. I enjoy it so much. I have given away more than 3,500 copies of the 10,000 first printing. If any readers would like a free copy, send an email to steve@wholeofthewhole. Com.
MB wrote: As long as we focus on the point of this message and that is to positively influence one another; we as americans can change. Oftentimes in our society that sees negativity as lucrative, we subliminally pollute the upcoming generations and stay desensitized to the care of others (selfish). We're here to help one another. Bottom line.

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