Written January 20, 2013
So I was hanging out with my site family today and the dad was telling me a story about how in Firenana (the commune NE of us) they grow some sort of drug and how people from the Comoros come and buy it. They want to make sure I understood the word drug so the girls were listing off examples for me. “Cigarettes, alcohol, chewing tobacco……”. So I naturally added “marijuana”. They looked at me with blank faces. Then I asked the parents, “but you guys know what marijuana is, right?”. They didn’t know either. This wouldn’t be so unusual if pot motif wasn’t common. But it is. You see random pot symbols all over the place, mostly because “rasta” style things are popular. It is especially funny when you see a grandma with a lamba around her waist featuring a giant picture of Bob Marley’s face adorned with pot leafs along the edge.
What’s especially interesting is that this family has a video called “Relax” which has a strange into that everyone loves to watch on repeat which is super pot heavy. The intro is pretty much little GIF images and just about every other one is marijuana related. They were absolutely shocked when I pointed this out to them. Sorry to ruin your favorite video guys! I hope to someday get past the intro to the Relax video. We get to the point where the first music video starts playing (from Angola, 2007) and the put it straight back to the intro.
Note: Other people in my community DO know what marijuana is. I have had young guys jokingly (?) ask if I could teach them to grow it.