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Sublimation: Its Relevance to Eritrean Experience


Sublimation means to express one self in a socially acceptable or desirable manner. For example, the tendency for adults to sing in public is more acceptable than to cry like a spoiled brat or child.

The word sublimation was originally coined by Sigmund Freud in his attempt to classify the different types of defensive mechanism aimed at hiding or easing ones pent-up tension or discomfort. By definition, in Tigringa it simply means ምምኽናይ ወይ ምምሽኻን for ones fault or limitation. However, such assumption in one way or another is shaped by Freud's view of human nature as a libidinal or sensual energy. In short, it sounds so mechanical, and for this, his theory was and still is subject to criticism.

To Jung, who was a fellow psychiatrist and critic of Freud, sublimation is part of the royal art where the true gold is made. It is influenced by ones negative experience from early on. But it can be overcome as one sees it as a challenge in his endeavor to take advantage of his misfortune or predicament. Thus Jung with his creative suffering in mind; ones admitted as if his excellence in educational domain is attributed to his inferiority complex. Similarly, during Holocaust (መቅዘፍቲ), many Jewish like Kafka, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Elie Wiesel including Luigi Pirandello, Ignazio Silone during Fascist era emerged as the most celebrated writers and poets.

By the same token, it is striking to see the increasing number of Eritrean artists, musicians, sportsmen, writers, poets since the struggle years. Also, like that Neo-Victorian, the traditional hair styles and national dress of Eritrean women are blended with modern state-of-art fashion. I realize such artistic hue can not be seen apart from sublimation rooted in a long Eritrean suffering symbolizing a zigzag "Challenge Road" of the mighty mountain of Sahel, once the stronghold of freedom fighters.

But in my view, the Eritrean sublimation is unfinished business; or the wish fulfillment of our forefathers who were tempered by ceaseless colonial rule in this trouble spot of Africa. For those who sacrificed their lives FREEDOM was something to leave behind (ሓድጊ), and for their orphaned children is a mere trustship (ሕድሪ) in safeguarding the hard-won freedom by excelling in education as the following poem, by the late Professor Amdetsion Kidane denotes:-

I pledge to you my dear Dad
I will commit myself to your command
To join the youth that subscribes to common decency
Humbleness, politeness, respect and courtesy
To be God-fearing and considerate of the elderly
As your generation lived so admirably.

Now Dad, I pledge to you without hesitation
That I will live up to your expectation
To be the best that I can be
To make you proud as proud should be
I wish you were alive today to see your wish fulfilled
Yours only son has finally matured.


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Sublimation: Its Relevance to Eritrean Experience Reviewed by Admin on 3:36 PM Rating: 5

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