Homecoming Ritual


“Well this is moreso of just a family thing but in my family, we have a lot of people who either live, work, or study internationally. So when someone comes home it is tradition for them to make the rounds at all of our relatives’ houses —whoever wasn’t able to meet you at the airport— and then someone will make you your favorite traditional food. Honestly it’s kind of annoying, especially if you just finished exams or whatever, but I’ll never complain when it comes to free food. It’s those moments that I think about when I’m away, and I never regret them. The food I normally ask for is these things called “Magwinya” [translated to Fatcakes] which is basically a sweet fried dough treat. You can buy them at the corner shop but my aunt make the best ones and always has them fresh ready for me when I get to her house.”


KG is a 23 year old man from Botswana, Africa, who is currently studying in Paris, France. It is customary in Botswana culture to heavily cherish and value family and community, and to express that through quality time and food. 


As with Folklore at large, the ritual KG’s family partakes in encourages and fosters community and culture. The emphasis on community is by making sure that people who have been “away from home” for long are somewhat forced to reconnect with their community by visiting relatives face to face and spending time with them. This custom reinforces culture as well, for it is not just any food that is offered to those homecoming, it is traditional food of the culture, to connect them with their past and passing down/over history and knowledge through food and taste.