The family at the heart of managing cultural diversity

 

Embed or link this publication

Description

A convesation with 35 men and women in Uganda, CCFU and the Pruralism Knowledge Programme Partners

Popular Pages


p. 1

PLURALISM WORKING PAPER | 2011 / NO 8 THE FAMILY: AT THE HEART OF MANAGING CULTURAL DIVERSITY Conversations with 35 Ugandan leaders and rural women and men EMILY DRANI SANTA I KAYONGA JOHN DE CONINCK

[close]

p. 2

Colophon First published in June 2011 by the Promoting Pluralism Knowledge Program, jointly coordinated by: The Kosmopolis Institute (University for Humanistic Studies) P.O. Box 797 | 3500 AT Utrecht | The Netherlands www.uvh.nl Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries P.O. Box 85565 | 2508 CG The Hague |The Netherlands www.hivos.net Center for Religious & Cross-Cultural Studies (Gadjah Mada Graduate School) Jl. Teknika Utara | Pogung | Yogyakarta Indonesia 55281 | Indonesia www.crcs.ugm.ac.id Centre for the Study of Culture and Society 827, 29th Main | Poornaprajna Layout | Uttarahalli | Bangalore – 560061| India www.cscsarchive.org Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda P.O. Box 25517 | Kampala | Uganda www.crossculturalfoundation.or.ug Editing by Caroline Suransky, Hilde van ‘t Klooster and Ute Seela (Kosmopolis Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Hivos, The Hague, The Netherlands) Design by Tangerine – design communicatie advies, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Printed items printed by Oranje Van Loon Drukkers, The Hague, The Netherlands ISSN 1879-7172 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License. References to the working paper series should be cited as: Author(s).(year). ‘Title’, Pluralism Working Paper series. Paper no. All working papers are as full text available on the internet and on paper. 2 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 3

The Family: At the heart of managing cultural diversity Conversations with 35 Ugandan leaders and rural women and men Emily Drani Santa I Kayonga John De Coninck 3 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 4

Pluralism Working Paper no 8 Title Authors Keywords Category in Working Paper series Comments can be sent to The Family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity. Conversations with 35 Ugandan leaders and rural women and men. Emily Drani Santa I Kayonga John De Coninck The family, cultural diversity, pluralism, Uganda A – academic research The authors - ccfu@crossculturalfoundation.or.ug And to the editors of the Pluralism Working Paper series – pluralismworkingpapers@uvh.nl Emily Drani is Director of the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) and coordinator of the Promoting Pluralism Knowledge Programme in Uganda. Santa I Kayonga is researcher of CCFU. John De Coninck is Policy Advisor at CCFU and closely involved in the knowledge programme. The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organisation, dedicated to promoting culture as essential for sustainable and equitable development in Uganda. Through research, documentation, capacity building and sub-granting CCFU highlights the resourcefulness of culture and its impact in bringing about social and economic transformation in Uganda and beyond. Website www.crossculturalfoundation.or.ug 4 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 5

The Pluralism Working Paper series Welcome to the Pluralism Working Paper series for the Pluralism Knowledge Programme. The series provides a vehicle for early dissemination of knowledge and aims to reflect the broad range and diversity of theoretical and empirical work that is undertaken by academic researchers and civil society based development practitioners in association with the Pluralism Knowledge Programme. The Pluralism Knowledge Programme (PKP) is carried out in an international cooperative structure that includes the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos) and the Kosmopolis Institute of the University for Humanistic Studies, both in the Netherlands, the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS, Bangalore, India), the Center for Religious and Cross Cultural Studies (CRCS, Yogyakarta, Indonesia) and the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU, Uganda). The working paper series is intended to stimulate discussion and critical comment on a broad range of issues addressed in the knowledge programme and contains publications in three categories: A. academic research papers B. practice-based reflections C. interviews and conversations To orient different target groups of readers, each paper will be listed in one of these categories. We welcome feedback and encourage you to convey your comments and criticisms to the working paper series editors and directly to the authors. For more information about the Hivos Knowledge programme initiative please visit www.hivos.net and the Kosmopolis website at http://kosmopolis.uvh.nl. On behalf of the international Pluralism Programme staff, we thank you for your interest in our working papers. Caroline Suransky, Hilde van ‘t Klooster and Ute Seela Editors of the Pluralism Working Paper series 5 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 6

6 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 7

Table of Contents Editor´s preface The Family: At the heart of managing cultural diversity 1. Introduction 2. Findings 3. Conclusions and recommendations References 9 11 11 15 33 36 7 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 8

8 | Pluralism Working Paper no 8 The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity | 2011

[close]

p. 9

Editor´s preface This paper explores the role of the family in nurturing the value of pluralism in Uganda. It presents a new and interesting perspective on pluralism in the knowledge program network. The paper is based on empirical research conducted by Emily Drani, who is the Director of the Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), and coordinator of the Pluralism Knowledge Program in Uganda, as well as Santa I Kayonga, who is researcher of CCFU. As a civil society based organization, CCFU promotes the recognition of culture as vital for equitable and sustainable development. It carries out studies in this domain which incorporate cultural dimensions and uses its research output to create more awareness among policy makers and practitioners about the role of culture in development. The authors research the significance of the family as “a space for nurturing the value of pluralism in Uganda”. They argue that there may be “good reasons to study the role of the family and the broader community when attempting to understand the meaning and the challenges of pluralism within African contexts, especially since collectivity may play a different role than assumed in the Western world, where many of the pluralism concepts originate”. As a point of departure, they refer to the description of pluralism as formulated by the Harvard Program on Pluralism at Harvard University, which is one of the notions of pluralism used in the knowledge program. Central to the Harvard definition is the idea that pluralism requires more than passive tolerance, but instead involves people’s active engagement with difference. The authors state that – given Uganda’s history of strife – even tolerance should be regarded as an achievement, but that a notion of ‘active engagement with difference’ potentially introduces new and viable perspectives to manage the complex diversity that exists in the country. The research focused on two categories of respondents. The first group consisted of Kampala based urban professionals who were selected because of their personal and professional experience in dealing with religion, ethnicity and politics. They were asked to share their personal experiences within their families and their perception of pluralism in the broader society. A second group was identified in the rural districts of Mayuge and Moyo. Mayuge, in Eastern Uganda, was included because its communities have remained ethnically relatively homogenous. In addition, there is a high rate of polygamy which, as the authors suggest, could be an important element to understand managing conflict and diversity at the family level. The Moyo district, on the border with Sudan, experiences high levels of migration and hosts refugees. This situation too challenges families in particular ways to deal with the differences among the communities in the area. The research addressed the subjective views of the respondents, drawing on their personal perceptions and lived experiences of tolerance and pluralism. Four broad interview topics were identified which revolved around (1) pluralism in respect to the manifestation of and dealing with difference in the family; (2) the inculcation of values within the family; (3) the evolving concept of family; spaces and drivers of pluralism in a family environment and finally (4) the influence of the workplace on promoting pluralism in the family. The authors notice that the family in Uganda is changing. They state that “circumstances, such as civil strife and displacement, terminal illness (AIDS), education, and religion have resulted in mobility and a shift in roles and power relations, which challenges the traditional family”. New emerging types of families go beyond those with parents of similar ethnic, religious, occupational, social background, and include those with “single parents, parents of mixed ethnicity, mixed religions, diverse political affiliation, polygamous families, “modern” urban well-travelled and exposed families, as well as less travelled rural ones”. The paper concludes that while the family remains an important point of reference, source of identity and space for nurturing values in Uganda, it is also evolving. New types of families emerge in which “participation, consultation, negotiation, equality and freedoms – principles that foster pluralism”, increasingly play a role. 9 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 10

The final part of the paper offers a number of recommendations to civil society organizations which are involved in pluralism and development concerns. With this paper we hope to encourage a new dialogue on pluralism from a different and fresh angle. We wonder how the ideas on the relationship between family and pluralism as expressed in the paper, compare with those in the other regions in the Knowledge Program network and beyond and certainly welcome your comments and questions in this regard. Caroline Suransky Chief editor of the Pluralism Working Paper series for the Pluralism Knowledge Program. 10 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 11

The Family: At the heart of managing cultural diversity Conversations with 35 Ugandan leaders, and rural women and men Emily Drani, Santa I Kayonga and John De Coninck 1. Introduction 1.1. Pluralism and the family in the African context Civil society is globally faced with the growth of various forms of intolerance rooted in ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, social class and nationalism, among other expressions of identity. On the African continent, different ethnic groups often attempt to co-exist harmoniously – not always successfully: diversity needs to be managed in a context where different cultures and cultural values dictate how ‘the other’ is perceived and engaged with. Development actors are however not always well equipped to address this reality which, to varying degrees, interferes with the progress of development initiatives, for example when patronage associated with ethnicity or political affiliation influences communities’ access to public resources. In an effort to address challenges related to diversity and pluralism in the south, an international initiative, the Promoting Pluralism Knowledge Programme (PKP), brings together several organisations in Indonesia, India, the Netherlands and Uganda1. The programme reflects a desire by academics and civil society-based actors to generate knowledge and develop new insights into the appeal of fundamentalisms, and to comprehend divergent experiences and views on pluralism. In particular, the PKP aims at generating new knowledge; intensifying linkages between development practitioners and academic researchers; and translating acquired knowledge into strategies for promoting pluralism in practice. The Programme’s appreciation of pluralism is premised on Diana Eck’s definition, which highlights four main points. First, pluralism is not diversity alone, but the energetic engagement with diversity. Diversity is a given, but pluralism is not; it is an achievement. Pluralism is therefore not just tolerance, but the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference. Tolerance is a necessary public virtue, but it does not require one to know anything about one another and does not remove our ignorance of one another, leaving in place stereotypes, half-truths and the fears that underlie old patterns of division and violence. Third, pluralism is not relativism, but the encounter of commitments. Pluralism therefore does not require us to leave our identities and our commitments behind. It means holding our deepest differences, not in isolation, but in relationship to one another. Fourth, pluralism is based on dialogue and encounter, on give and take, criticism and self-criticism - a process that reveals both common understandings and real differences. In other words, dialogue does not mean everyone at the “table” will agree with one another. (Eck, 2006) The PKP in Uganda chose to use this definition as a point of departure, given its fit with the complexity of the country’s diverse ethnic, religious and political composition. Uganda’s history of strife has shown that, although tolerance itself can be regarded as an achievement, the emphasis on the necessity for engagement across difference introduces a relevant and necessary emphasis on 1 In Uganda, the partners are: Uganda Martyrs University, Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies at the University of Gulu, the National NGO Forum, DENIVA, the Gulu NGO Forum, the Mpigi NGO Forum, the Human Rights Network (HURINET), the Human Rights and Peace Centre at Makerere University (HURIPEC) and the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU). 11 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 12

managing this complexity, and takes the discourse on pluralism to a practical and potentially productive level for national co-existence. Uganda’s post-colonial history has also shown how diversity, particularly ethnicity and religious diversity, has been used as a tool to manipulate allegiances to meet political ends. This has resulted in the current and common perception that cultural diversity represents exclusion to the detriment of the collective public good (Kayiso, 2009). Furthermore, across the continent, both diversity and the community are considered a ‘given’, implying inclusiveness within diversity. According to Mbiti, for instance, “Only in terms of other people does the individual become conscious of his own being, his own duties, his privileges and responsibilities towards himself and towards other people” (1989: 106). Further, “African societies still exert a great influence upon individuals and communities, even if they are no longer the only final source of reference and identity. With the undermining of traditional solidarity has come the search for new values, identity and security, which for both the individual and his community, were satisfactorily supplied or assured by the deeply religious background …”(ibid.:256) Nkemnkia (1999: 171) elaborates: “African identity and culture are founded on the intimate and vital unity with the family, the tribe and God. The “I” is not the point of departure, but the “You”, the “We”, the collectivity of the community and the tribe.[…] The individual cannot organize or fulfil himself outside the community, clan or tribe; he would be like a fish out of its water […]A similar condition favours a communitarian pluralism, which is opposed to individualism, the superiority of the “I” as opposed to the primacy of the “We.” The family in an African context therefore revolves around the collective: “In traditional society, the family includes children, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters who may have their own children, and other immediate relatives. The number of family members may range from ten persons to even a hundred, where several wives belonging to one husband may be involved. It is the practice in some societies to send children to live for some months or years with relatives, and these children are counted as members of the families where they happen to live. The family also includes the departed relatives, […] “the living dead” as well as […] the unborn members who are still in the loins of the living” (Mbiti, op. cit.:104-5). Shorter (1988: 84) explains: “the extended family is a group of relatives extended in space and time, and including the deceased as well as the unborn. Usually, members see themselves as belonging exclusively to either the paternal or maternal line. Members cooperate in a family community and accept mutual responsibility across generations…” Within this family, the household is the smallest unit, consisting of the children, parents and sometimes the grandparents, what one might call ‘the family at night’. If a man has two or more wives, he has as many households, since each wife would usually have her own house erected within the same compound. Shorter (op.cit.:83), complements this definition, stating that “the family is a minimal effective group of relatives by blood and/or marriage and analogous groups. This means that a family is the smallest group of relatives that can operate effectively by itself in a given society. Analogous groups refer to families in which members are not related by blood or marriage, for example, adopted children, or step children …” With internal challenges and external influences, the concept of family and the role of the extended family are evolving. According to Otiso (2006: 97), “…the role of families and clans in socialisation has largely been taken over by schools where children spend their youth away from both parents and grandparents.” […] “The advent of the modern cash economy often forces one parent, especially the father, to spend considerable amounts of time away from the family, thereby further weakening the socialisation process [.…] many grandparents are also increasingly disconnected from their grandchildren by language barriers that are engendered by the modern school system. The increased separation of the children from the parents and grandparents is to a large degree responsible for the rapid increase in the number of maladjusted, unproductive, and lawless youth.” 12 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 13

1.2. Studying the family at the heart of cultural pluralism in Uganda This report is based on research that set out to establish the significance of the family as a space for nurturing the value of pluralism in Uganda. The preceding section suggests that there may be good reasons to study the role of the family and the broader community when attempting to understand the meaning and the challenges of pluralism within African contexts, especially since the collectivity may play a different role than assumed in the Western world (where many of the pluralism concepts originate). Culture remains an essential point of reference – whether explicit or unspoken - for both urban and rural Ugandan communities. It determines community and individual values, how we see ourselves and others, as well as our worldviews, which in turn inform responses to social, political and economic factors in the environment. In one way or the other, identity is founded on cultural diversity that includes, but is not limited to, ethnicity, religion and gender. Culture however evolves, fuelled by beliefs, expectations and experiences: its custodians (within and outside traditional cultural institutions) are exposed to external influences and worldviews that may challenge their own belief systems and practices, thus creating room for reflection, accommodation of the new, transformation and/or appreciation of diversity. Further, different African cultures attach diverse social values to relations with ‘the other’ (often as a result of intermarriage or migration) that may or may not promote pluralism. The African concept of family and community is generally premised on the principle of inclusiveness, on identifying and creating spaces for convergence rather than divergence in individual aspirations and thought. It must however be kept in mind that conforming to the norm, rather than seeking to be recognized as different, is also an important aspect of this collectivity, thus departing from the assumption that collectivity involves unbridled freedom for the realisation and expression of diversity. This research explores the role of the family in managing cultural diversity. The family is perceived as the space where acculturation begins and where difference in terms of ethnicity, religion and gender, among others, is defined, understood and managed to foster (or not) harmony from the smallest unit of a household to the wider community. Inculcation of values, old and new, often takes place within a family setting where they are translated into the daily lives of children. These values are reflected in the selection of friends, schools attended and interaction with those who are ‘different’. Pluralism or the lack of it is then seen as nurtured from the very early stages of individuals’ lives and thereafter manifests itself in the way in which they relate to difference in their adulthood, knowingly and unconsciously. In Uganda, while some research has been conducted on family relations and the upbringing of children in respect to rights, gender roles and responsibilities (Raising Voices, 2005), there has been limited examination of the value of tolerance, attitudes towards this, and even less in respect to pluralism. Little is known therefore about managing diversity within families, its link to the value of equity and how this informs the upbringing of children, and how the shared values of discipline, respect, and tolerance may manifest themselves in pluralism (or the lack of it) within and outside the family setting. 1.3. The research For purposes of this study, a family refers to immediate relatives (the household living together semipermanently or permanently) who are directly involved in influencing and determining the values that the family upholds. The extended family is also taken into account as an important social group, which in the local context includes relatives of common ancestry / lineage, with shared goals and values, with long-term commitments to one another, and residing in the same dwelling place. In Uganda, the family is however changing in ways that affect its members’ perceptions and lived reality of diversity. A number of circumstances, such as civil strife and consequent displacement, terminal illness (AIDS), education, and religion have resulted in mobility and a shift in roles and power relations, challenging the traditional family as described by Mbiti (1989) above. The emerging types of families go beyond those with “ordinary” parents (of similar ethnic, religious, occupational, social background) to those with single parents’, parents of mixed ethnicity, mixed religions, diverse political affiliation, polygamous families, “modern” urban well-travelled and exposed families, as well as less travelled rural ones. Some families exhibit several of these elements combined, while others 13 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 14

have experiences in more than one country/or location, often as a result of conflict, displacement and trade. This variety of family backgrounds provides information on different worldviews, values, and experiences of transmitting the values of tolerance and intolerance and on the factors that lead to and reinforce such differences. Such changes also result in the disruption of traditional socialisation processes and in exposure to alternative ways of life, making the accommodation of diversity an increasingly relevant concern. This research therefore seeks to explore families’ worldviews, their perceptions and lived experiences of tolerance and pluralism The research focused on subjective views, based on life stories, emphasising the account of individual perceptions and interpretation of events; it also focused on pluralism in relation to ethnicity, religion and politics. Four broad areas were identified and questions developed to explore how difference is managed in the selected families and how values are passed on. Discussions revolved around pluralism in respect to the manifestation of and dealing with difference in the family, the inculcation of values within the family; the evolving concept of family; spaces and drivers of pluralism in a family environment and finally, the influence of workplaces on promoting pluralism in the family2. The scope of the first leg of the research was limited to Kampala-based individuals. The sample was small, with 14 key informants (5 women), mostly prominent personalities in their professional fields (in respect to education for adults and youth, health, gender, religion, family affairs and governance). They were drawn from urban or semi-urban backgrounds, educated and exposed Ugandans from various walks of life, institutions and organisations to demonstrate different dimensions of pluralism from a political, ethnic and religious perspective. Because of their professional background, these interviewees are in contact with a wider Ugandan public, in this case women, children, youth, rural community groups, adult learners and religious congregations. They were selected because of their direct experience, personal and professional, in dealing with issues of religion, ethnicity and politics, and asked to share their personal experiences on pluralism (within their families) and their perception of pluralism in society. Two non-Ugandan respondents were included to provide an outsider’s perspective on how Ugandans relate to one another. A subsequent phase of the study was undertaken in two rural settings, in Mayuge and Moyo districts, Mayuge, in eastern Uganda, was identified as a district where rural communities have remained ethnically relatively homogenous, with a high rate of polygamy, an important element to understand managing conflict and diversity at the family level. Moyo district, bordering Sudan, has an experience of movement in and out of the country and hosts refugees. This has exposed local families to diverse groups of people and ways of life and therefore provided them with an opportunity to manage diversity. 23 (11 men, 12 women) individuals were interviewed, reflecting particular types of families with a diverse range of experiences and views, including polygamous families or relationships, mixed/unique ethnic parentage, religious backgrounds, and individuals in families with a high or low educational status. Individuals involved in business or trade, subsistence farming or leadership positions were included. This report is divided into three main chapters, the first being this introduction to the study. The second describes the findings, with detailed responses in respect to managing difference in the family, transmitting values within the family, the influence of workplaces on promoting pluralism, the evolving concept of family, and spaces and drivers of pluralism in a family setting. Differences in the family are examined according to (i) Ethnic identity (ii) Religious identity (iii) Social status, and (iv) Political affiliation. For each, manifestations of difference and its management are examined. Finally, chapter three focuses on conclusions and some recommendations to civil society organisations involved in addressing issues of pluralism and development concerns in general The outcomes of this research are meant to inform civil society strategies to address issues of intolerance that manifest themselves in the family in different forms and to identify resourceful spaces to mitigate intolerance. The research may also prove useful to contribute to discussions on supporting the restoration of functional families; on understanding the accepted parameters of tolerance in the local cultural context and on identifying what needs to be done to nurture a responsible, conscientious and tolerant population for a dignified and harmonious society. 2 Respondents’ names have been masked throughout the text to respect their privacy. 14 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

p. 15

2. Findings 2.1 Acknowledging difference in upbringing The research first focused on tolerance as a key dimension of pluralism, and as an initial step towards managing diversity - acknowledging and accepting difference and thereafter engaging with it. The outcomes of mapping studies carried out under the Promoting Pluralism Knowledge programme in Uganda, indicate that religious and ethnic identity as well as social status and political affiliation are key factors of intolerance (Kayiso, 2009, Maraka, 2009). This section therefore examines varying degrees of tolerance and intolerance in relation to ethnicity, religion, nationality and political affiliation. Religious identity Religion is a key source of diversity in several families interviewed and the degree of tolerance, especially between Catholics and Protestants, depends on the depth of their religious conviction. The Protestant, Catholic and Baha’i respondents all encompassed a willingness to be inclusive of the other, even when confronted with the reality of a family member’s choice to marry a person of a different religious persuasion. Efforts were made to accommodate the other, illustrating that in some instances family loyalty superseded any intolerance inspired by religious persuasion. Although there were instances of co-existence between Muslims and adherents of other religions, intermarriage often required conversion, which conversion was understood by some as a change of ethnic identity. According to four urban respondents of Catholic and Kiganda3 background, during their upbringing, discrimination against Protestants was pronounced. In spite of this, their families were however open to friends from different tribes and races, and were not class conscious in their choice of friends, or less privileged relatives. They testified that having parents with the same religious background reinforced common values and principles in their children. For two urban respondents born of parents of similar ethnic and religious identity, prayer was a strong part of the children’s upbringing, with some joining the seminary or becoming priests/pastors. Even where they did not follow this vocation, they testified that this influence shaped their identities. Religion (in this case, Catholicism) was much valued, although a prejudice against Protestantism was also emphasised. Among the rural families, religion was emphasised and expectations of family members with regard to religious observances and loyalties were pronounced. Thus, loyalties and acceptance on the basis of religion blurred the boundaries of other types of differences, for Catholic, Protestant and Muslim families. Two urban respondents were of Bahá’í faith, which they found appealing because of the openness, freedom of association and inclusiveness the faith promoted. As one respondent recalls, “My father said, “I will take you to a home where the children do not fear Africans.” Conversion from Christianity to Bahá’í faith did not cause significant tensions or conflicts within the wider family. Tolerance In urban families with parents of different religions, a high level of religious tolerance was exhibited. One respondent for instance said, “My mother was Protestant, my father was Catholic and we (children) were confirmed Catholics, but on Sunday each family member went to worship in a church of their choice, Catholic or Protestant.” According to another respondent from a Catholic headed home, “there was no pressure for conversion as all the religions were respected and accepted.” In the rural areas, families with different religious backgrounds gave mixed signals in terms of tolerance of different religions. In as far as it meant interacting with people of other religious persuasion on a social basis or even marriage, there was some tolerance between the Christian religions. An urban Catholic respondent who married into a staunch Anglican family said that his parents were not comfortable with his wife being of a different faith. He however did not demand her to convert although, after a few years in marriage, she chose to convert to Catholicism of her own free will. In Mayuge district, at least three Protestant women had converted on marriage to Catholicism, while at 3 From the largest ethnic group in Uganda, the Baganda 15 | The family: At the Heart of Managing Cultural Diversity Pluralism Working Paper no 8 | 2011

[close]

Comments

no comments yet