COVID-19 alters cultural norms

RETHABILE MOHONO

MASERU – The COVID-19 pandemic has had a sudden and substantial impact on Basotho cultural norms. The pandemic has forced people to withhold some cultural activities and norms such as traditional ways of paying respect to loved ones during burial. It has affected how Basotho celebrate weddings, initiation schools, churches, community gatherings (Pitso) and many other events, to mention a few.

Historian, consultant and part-time lecturer at the National University of Lesotho, Makatleho Liphoto, has said earlier today. “Covid-19 has impacted people’s ways of living, such as how people give respect to their loved ones who has passed on, ways Basotho celebrate marriage, sudden closure of initiation schools and churches,” she said adding that gatherings such as wedding ceremonies are no longer about two families coming together to celebrate the union because of the restrictions.

The way people used to gather at pitsos and funerals has also changed. “This doesn’t mean elimination of our culture and norms but due to this pandemic we have to withhold some of our norms, beliefs and cultural activities, for us to fight this pandemic and abide by COVID-19 regulations,” she said, speaking on a local radio.

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