Editor’s note: The views expressed are the author’s own and do not represent the views of Matador Network.
I went to Tanzania because I wanted to meet Maasai people. Their customs, dress, and lifestyle had long captivated my imagination. Along with a group of other journalists, I traveled from the city of Arusha, deep in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. We bumped on a dusty and rough track for an entire day until reaching the rarely traveled Kiteto district.
Our visit was to coincide with a celebration of circumcision. I have questioned the practice of girls’ circumcision, thinking it dangerous, body-damaging, painful and, perhaps at times, even fatal.
But after this journey, face to face with circumcised women–all of whom seemed to be happy–I have rethought the notion of forcing one’s cultural values on another.