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Africa-Asia Relations:

Some Historical, Cultural, and Linguistic Connections

by

Adams B. Bodomo




University of Hong Kong


abbodomo@hku.hk
and

Visiting Professor

Ansted University

Penang, Malaysia



August 7, 2001

  1. Abstract

In this talk I outline some historical, cultural, and linguistic links and similarities between some African and Asian societies. I then show that despite these not-so-tenuous historical, cultural, and linguistic relations between Africa and Asia, there has not been as much interaction and cooperation between the two largest continents as compared to between these continents and other parts of the world. I will then propose a more global, universalist framework in which African and Asian institutions can cooperate to tackle each other’s development problems, especially in the area of education.





  1. Introduction

Dear friends of Malaysia and fellow Visiting Professors to Ansted University, it is with great pleasure and honour that I accept an invitation to come to the beautiful country of Malaysia and, in particular, to the splendid island of Penang, as Visiting Professor and recipient of an Honorary Doctorate conferred on me by Ansted University.


I will like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Board of Governors of Ansted University and in particular to Sir Dr. Roger Haw for this invitation and for this most distinguished honour bestowed on me. I first met Sir Dr. Haw in 2000 at a conference on Adult Education and Distance Learning organized in Hong Kong where I currently live and work as Faculty member at the University of Hong Kong. We communicated occasionally during the conference and then went our various ways. Little did I know that the indefatigable Dr. Haw has been quietly following my work in the field of Linguistics, Literacy Education, and Comparative African and Asian Studies. I was thus pleasantly surprised when he invited me to be Honorary Advisory Council Member to Ansted University and to come over as Visiting Professor to an institution of which, as I later came to realize, he is a founding member. I have come to realize from my correspondence and contacts with Dr. Haw that few people in the world can match the dedication, the sense of purpose, and the enthusiasm with which Sir Dr Haw performs his duties as a University administrator. I have no doubt that Malaysia is very proud of this distinguished son of the land.
I will also like to thank my colleagues and fellow linguists, Professor Dr Beaudette Cripps, poet and President of the Board of Governors of Ansted University and Professor Dr Yousof Ghulam, literary giant and Director of Ansted University’s School of Liberal Arts.
I am much humbled to have been placed in the midst of a distinguished audience, comprising academic giants from all over the world.
Dear friends, with these words, I will now present the outline of the talk, which, as has been announced, is titled Africa-Asia Relations: Some Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Connections. In this talk though I draw from primary texts such as works by Runoko Rashidi and Ivan Van Sertima, on media write-ups on the African-Asian connections, and on my own works in the fields of linguistics, literacy, and education, I will basically be talking to you about my experiences as an African living in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, China. I will review some of the literature about the Asian and especially Chinese connections with Africa, and I will go on to invite you to a discussion about my experiences as an African in Asia.
The theme would be the African presence in Asia, particularly Hong Kong and China where I live. Basically, the thesis I will examine here is that despite not-so-tenuous historical, cultural, and linguistic connections between Africa and Asia, Africa is not so much present in the minds of Asians as compared to other parts of the world. Africa has not much conceptual space in the minds of Asians. Many, though not all, Asians I have met know next to nothing about Africa as compared to their knowledge about Europe and the Americas. There is a certain kind of conceptual and philosophical dualism in the minds of many of my Asian colleagues and friends I interact with. This dualism deprives Africa of any conceptual space in the Asian mind. And this dualism is the East-West dichotomy that is so pervasive and rampant in Asian parlance! I will explicate and illustrate this thesis in parts of the talk and towards the end I will suggest ways of increasing the African presence in Asia and vice versa.
2. Historical/archeological/genetic links
Much has been written about African contributions to world civilization. The dominant view is that the history of mankind and humanity began in Africa, particularly in East Africa and the Nile Valley. Homo Erectus or the first man migrated out of Africa into Asia 35000 years ago before continuing to other parts of the world. It has been argued that both Peking Man, the earliest humankind found in China and Java Man are only just regional varieties of the early Africans (Rashidi and van Sertima 1995).
Recent genetic studies have tended to corroborate these early archeological findings. In a recent article titled, Human race emerged ‘from Africa’, in the Financial Times of London (May 10, 2001), Victoria Griffith writes: “Scientists have uncovered the strongest evidence yet that humans share a single African ancestor…The idea that the entire world is African is supported by powerful genetic analysis of the Y chromosome.”
The idea that the first Africans chose Asia when they decided to migrate provides the first non-tenuous link between Africans and Asians. Early Asians must be the closest cousins of the early Africans! Indeed Robert Lee Hotz in the article, Chinese Roots Lie in Africa, Research Says, (Los Angeles Times, Sep 29, 1998) confirms this with reference to the Chinese when he writes: "Most of the population of modern China--one fifth of all people living today--owes its genetic origins to Africa."
But there are not just only ancient historical links between Asia and Africa. In many parts of Asia today there are pockets of indigenous communities that trace their recent ancestry back to Africa. African Asian communities exist in many parts of the continent, especially in South Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Though African Asians are probably not as many, as conspicuous, and as self-conscious as African Americans and African Europeans in their respective countries, the fact of their existence points to very clear links between the populations of Asia and Africa.
Kenneth J. Cooper’s article, Within South Asia, A Little Touch of Africa, (Washington Post Foreign Service, April 12, 1999) mentions the existence of African Asian communities such as the Siddis of India who speak Gujarati, the Sheedi community near Karachi in Pakistan most of whom speak Baluchi, and the Kaffirs of Sri Lanka. While these communities may not exhibit as much African consciousness as we see among many African Americans, their music, their dance and many of their indigenous speech forms and other linguistic characteristics point to strong African connections. Indeed, as Kenneth Cooper suggests, many of these groups “are…descended from slaves, servants and soldiers brought from East Africa over the centuries, first by Arab traders and later by Portuguese and British colonizers.”
Beyond the Siddis, the Sheedis, and the Kaffirs of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, many more indigenous communities in other Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, where they are known as Orang Asli (Original Man), Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia trace their ancestry back to Africa, and are indeed African Asians. Anthropological, sociological, linguistic and other studies of such communities are likely to reveal very striking African institutions in these communities.
Of course, the aforementioned are not the only types of African communities in Asia. As part of the globalized world of multinational corporations, transactions and their attendant travel, migration and relocations, vibrant African communities are beginning to emerge in Asia. African communities have begun to emerge in megacities like Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Manila. On the other hand, vibrant Asian communities have already taken shape in many African cities like Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Cairo and Lagos. These form the topic of interesting surveys and I invite scholars and funding bodies to take more interest in research among these communities.1
I have tried to show in this part of the talk that there are clearly ancient historical links and even more recent links and interconnections between Africans and Asians. In the next section, I will outline one or two similarities and points of comparison between some Asian and African cultures.

3. Cultural links/similarity
3.1 Ancestor worship
One of the first amazing things Africans, especially those who have grown up in rural areas, learn about the Chinese is the similarity between Africans and Chinese in terms of their strong belief and practice of ancestor worship. In most African traditional religions as well as in Chinese traditional beliefs, ancestors are worshipped like gods. Families in Africa tend to set up regular periods in the year in which they worship their ancestors. Chinese on the other hand, have even gone further to set up a special festival, called the Ching Ming festival, for ancestor worship. It is not uncommon for families even in a modern metropolis like Hong Kong to head for the mountains in April during Ching Ming to worship their ancestors by burning various artefacts of worship. The dangers of bush fires in Hong Kong during Ching Ming testify to the fervour of ancestor worship in Chinese communities. Ancestor worship probably involves many other communities in Southeast Asia and other parts of Asia.
3.2 Ghosts
On the whole, Africans and Asians seem to be very superstitious in their beliefs. The belief in ghosts is, for instance, a major theme in both African and Asian belief systems. On both continents there are cultural communities which believe that unless dead people are given a fitting burial their souls will not depart this world and linger about among the living as ghosts to hound people. This is one theme that Toni Morrison the African-American Nobel laureate explores in her novel Beloved.
3.3 Anthropomorphism
A salient aspect of the belief systems of many African and Asian communities is the belief in the duality of existence between man and animals, between humans and the beings of the wild. Humans are sometimes given animal characteristics and some animals are given human characteristics. More importantly, among some ethnicities in Africa, such as among the Dagaare-speaking people of the central parts of West Africa, every person born has a totem, an animal that lives somewhere in the wild. The fate and destiny of a human and their totem are intricately linked. If the totem gets sick, the human gets sick, if the totem gets scratched by some thorns of the bush the man gets scratched in one way or the other. Is the totem happy, satisfied and enjoying life? The man is in the same situation. Man takes on the personality of the totem. Is the totem kind and gentle, then man is kind and gentle. The life of the totem is the life of the human. If the totem dies the human dies.
For instance, like all members of my clan, my totem is the python. My totem is supposed to be cool, calm, and collected; my totem is supposed to be one of humour and grace, of compassion and not without compunction. You may do anything to it but please don’t step on its tail – don’t trample on it; only then will it strike back. I am supposed to be like my totem, so please don’t step on my tail!
Like the Dagaaba and many other West Africans, the Chinese exhibit a certain amount of anthropomorphism. The Chinese believe in a link between human and animal life. Every Chinese, like every Dagao, identifies with totems, with one of twelve animals, this time not depending on which family or clan one is born into, but on in which year of their twelve-year calendar cycle one is born. Every Chinese has one of twelve totems: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig.
Below is a chart showing the twelve-year calendar cycle of the Chinese from 1900 to 2007.


TOTEM

YEAR OF BIRTH

CHARACTERISTICS

Rat


1900

1912

1924

1936

1948

1960

1972

1984

1996

Charming, bright, creative, thrifty

Ox

1901

1913

1925

1937

1949

1961

1973

1985

1997

Steadfast, dependable, methodical

Tiger

1902

1914

1926

1938

1950

1962

1974

1986

1998

Dynamic, warm, sincere, a leader

Rabbit

1903

1915

1927

1939

1951

1963

1975

1987

1999

Humble, artistic, clear-sighted

Dragon

1904

1916

1928

1940

1952

1964

1976

1988

2000

Flamboyant, lucky, imaginative

Snake

1905

1917

1929

1941

1953

1965

1977

1989

2001

Discreet, refined, intelligent

Horse

1906

1918

1930

1942

1954

1966

1978

1990

2002

Social, competitive, stubborn

Sheep

1907

1919

1931

1943

1955

1967

1979

1991

2003

Artistic, fastidious, indecisive

Monkey

1908

1920

1932

1944

1956

1968

1980

1992

2004

Witty, popular, good-humored, versatile

Rooster

1909

1921

1933

1945

1957

1969

1981

1993

2005

Aggressive, alert, perfectionist

Dog


1910

1922

1934

1946

1958

1970

1982

1994

2006

Honest, conservative, sympathetic, loyal

Pig

1911

1923

1935

1947

1959

1971

1983

1995

2007

Caring, industrious, home-loving

Source: Chinese Zodiac: http://www.central.k12.ca.us/akers/zodiac.html,

Chinese Astrology: http://chinese.astrology.com/signs.html
The reader can try to find out what totem they would have if they were Chinese. In my case, while I am a python for an African, I am a pig for a Chinese!
Anthropomorphism and the belief in totemity or the duality between humans and animals is certainly not limited to only West Africans and Chinese. There must certainly be many other African and Asian communities in which this is a prominent component of the cultural belief systems of the particular societies. Anthropomorphism thus constitutes one of the interesting parameters for comparing African and Asian cultural belief systems.
3.4 Mentorship as an educational model
I find striking similarities between traditional educational systems in African and Asian communities. These include the belief in authority, deference to the elders as custodians of knowledge, and a rigorous mentorship relationship between pupil and master.
One of the first positive aspects of the educational practices I noticed on taking up an appointment at the University of Hong Kong in 1997 – and that was my first time of landing in Asia – is the existence of an elaborate mentorship program at the university (Bodomo 1998). Undergraduates are paired up with successful alumni who mentor them and literally try to show them the way to success. In African traditional educational systems, there are no formal classes and lectures. Children of farmers learn their parents’ trade by understudying them, children of fishermen learn how to fish by literally mimicking their parents. Mentorship is a practical educational model that features prominently in traditional African and Asian educational systems.
I have in this section of the talk tried to show that there are strong links, connections, similarities and points of comparison between African and Asian cultures. I have done this, among others, by drawing attention to the fact that there is commonality of belief in superstition and ancestor worship among many African and Asian societies; there is a common philosophical world view of anthropomorphism, that there is an intricate link between humans and the beings of the wild, such that animals can take on human characteristics and humans can assume animal characteristics with lives in both communities intricately linked. In so doing I have tried to demonstrate that Africa and Asia are not just linked by some seemingly tenuously ancient historical factors, but that they are indeed intricately linked in terms of their belief systems and their Weltanschauung. In the next section I will briefly mention some linguistic connections and parameters of comparison between the two continents.

4. Linguistic links
Let me begin this section by claiming that languages do not move until people have moved. When communities are separated by natural or artificial obstacles for a long time they are likely to speak very differently. If groups of people speak similar or related languages or ones with similar features, that should thus serve as an indicator that these people have been connected, linked to each other in one way or the other.
In linguistics there are two main ways to compare linguistic systems: comparative historical linguistics leading to genetic classification of languages and typological linguistics leading to classification of languages according to types of languages. As a linguist there is just a lot to say about linguistic evidence to the link between Africa and Asia, and I can obviously not lay bare all the issues here. I will only briefly mention a few points.
There are obvious genetic linguistic relationships between some African and Asian languages. The world’s languages are classified into various families and groups according to how similar the languages are in terms of their internal linguistic structures such as their vocabulary and grammar. Two of such groupings are the Afro-Asiatic and the Dravidian groups. These groups of languages have members in Africa and Asia. African languages like Hausa, Oromo, Tigrinya, and Berber belong to the Afroasiatic group, as well as Asian languages like Hebrew and Assyrian. Arabic is a prominent member of this group and is spoken in both continents. Dravidian languages like Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada are spoken in South Asia, but there are variants of such languages and similar ones of this group spoken in parts of Southeast Asia, South Africa, and Mauritius. The fact that there is a web of communities in Africa and Asia speaking either the same languages or similar ones belonging to the same language families constitutes clear evidence of links and interconnections between the two biggest continents of the world.
While genetic linguistic relationships establish clear evidence of interconnections between adjacent parts of Asia and Africa, what is surprising is that even in regions of the two continents that are not adjacent one finds striking typological linguistic relationships. While some languages of northern Africa and the horn of Africa and West and South Asian are genetically related, the languages of West Africa and Southeast and East Asia have many typological similarities!
Some of the world’s best known tone languages are West African languages like Akan, Dagaare, Ewe, Ga, Igbo, and Yoruba on the one hand and Southeast and East Asian languages like Chinese, Thai, and Zhuang on the other hand.

There are six tonemes in Cantonese:

Tone 1 – High

Tone 2 – High rising

Tone 3 – mid level

Tone 4 - Low Falling

Tone 5 – Low rising

Tone 6 – Low level


For example, the characters and their respective meanings for the syllable fu are as the following:


Tone

Jyutping (Cantonese romanization)

Character

Meaning

1

fu1



Skin

2

fu2



Axe

3

fu3



Rich

4

fu4



To hold

5

fu5



Woman, wife, lady

6

fu6



Father

There are two tones in Dagaare - high and low.



Nyu

To drink

Nyu

To smell
Another pervasive typological feature that is dominated by the languages of West Africa and Southeast and East Asia is the phenomenon of serial verb construction, in which more than one lexical verb may be found in the same clause. Consider the striking similarity in clause structure between the following Cantonese and Dagaare constructions expressing the notion of buying water to drink:

Cantonese:
Ngo5 maai5 seoi2 jam2

1.SG buy.PERF water drink

‘I bought some water and drank it.’


Dagaare:
N da la ko nyu
1.SG buy.PERF FOC water drink

‘I bought some water and drank it.’
Tones and serial verb constructions have received the attention of many linguists and these two groups of languages in these non-adjacent parts of Asia and Africa have contributed very useful data for this linguistic inquiry (Luke and Bodomo 1998). Indeed, there is now even an association of linguists called the Association for Languages of Far East, Southeast Asia and West Africa (LESEWA). The typological similarities between these groups of languages are so striking that comparative studies are necessary to comprehend the issues and must constitute an important aspect of Comparative African and Asian Studies.
I have shown in this part of the paper that apart from historical and cultural link-up points between Africa and Asia, there are indeed points of comparisons between these two great continents from a linguistic point of view.

5. East-West dualism and the African absence in Asia
The foregoing sections constitute an attempt to demonstrate the strong relations, links, connections, and parameters for comparing African and Asian communities. There are therefore strong bases for interactions between Africans and Asians. Historically, culturally, and linguistically, Asia is related to Africa.
Four years of living, working and travelling in Hong Kong, China and Asia however tell a different story. My experiences as an African living and working in Asia show that Africa is not much present in the minds of Chinese and other Asians as other parts of the world are in their minds. In the streets of Hong Kong, Beijing, Delhi, and Tokyo, Asians, at least those I have interacted with, know next to nothing about Africa, as they know about other parts of the world. Even in academic and other elite set-ups, Africa and African affairs and studies do not feature much. Compared to the institutions of Europe and America, Asian universities and colleges have very little content about Africa.
A crucial question is: why is Africa so much absent in the minds of Asians as compared to other parts of the world? There may be many approaches to this issue from historical, cultural, economic and political points of view. I do, however, want to approach this issue from a conceptual perspective, from the point of view of the mindset of Asians and the way they categorize the world.
I want to claim that despite the not-so-tenuous historical, cultural, and linguistic connections between Africa and Asia that we have outlined above, Africa is not so much present in the minds of Asians as compared to other parts of the world. This is mainly because of what I have observed about the way Asians, especially the people of Hong Kong, the group of Asians I know best, categorize the world. There is a certain kind of conceptual and philosophical dualism in the minds of Asians. This dualism deprives Africa of any conceptual space in the Asian mind. And this dualism is the East-West dichotomy that is so pervasive and rampant in Asian parlance!
In everyday parlance, the people of Hong Kong and Chinese in general talk of the world in terms of East and West. The word East can sometimes actually just mean Chinese or Asian in general, while the word West actually refers to European, American or, indeed, any white person. For example, the first option in the search for restaurants is often between a Chinese or a Western restaurant. Politicians and many people in Hong Kong often like to see their city as a meeting point between East and West, when actually the reality is that Hong Kong is indeed a global business hub! Probably, as part of the constructive criticisms that some of us peaceful activists have engaged in, the government of Hong Kong has moved away from the maxim, Hong Kong: where East Meets West to Hong Kong: Asia’s World City. This is obviously a better and more inclusive way of referring to our city than the exclusionist and rather anachronistic reference as a meeting point between East and West, and I commend the government of my city for this positive move.
In such an ecological mindset, Africa and other non-Western countries are forgotten or at best marginalised. In Africa we don’t consider ourselves as either belonging to the East or the West, whether in terms of political ideology or in terms of world culture. Indeed, Africans do not divide the world into a dichotomous relationship as do Asians, but into the West, the East and Africa or some other more universalist typology.
The consequences of such a world-view among many Asians is that Africa and other non-Western, non-Asian countries are relegated to the background in their minds and therefore also in their daily practices.
If you watch the main English-speaking TV channels of Hong Kong, Africa is hardly mentioned. The clearest evidence of this is demonstrated when they give the weather report and indicate conditions in “major” cities of the world. There are often four screens: the first is for five Chinese cities, the next is for five Asian cities, the third is for five “Asia Pacific” cities and the fourth is for five cities in the US and Europe. No African city is mentioned!
One consequence of the East-West mindset that I have observed among my Asian acquaintances is that even when they glance at Africa with a wink, it is often with borrowed lenses. I exemplify this with the way African news is featured in Hong Kong and Asian media. When Africa is present in the media of Hong Kong, China and many parts of Asia, there are two interesting observations. First it is most likely negative news. Second, it is most likely to be curled from Western sources such as Agence Press, Associated Press and other news media and arms of international capitalism and the conservative political landscape which are wont to portray Africa as some backward, uncivilized part of the world.
A second consequence of such mental marginalisation of Africa by many Asian institutions is that the potentials of Africa as an economic force and therefore as a business and cultural partner of Asia are lost. A possible anti- or counter-thesis to the thesis I have espoused here about the neglect and marginalisation of Africa is that many Asians and Asian institutions do not care about Africa just because it indeed has no economic significance to them. But this does not actually explain the issue as it is an illusionary consequence of a reductionist categorization of the world by an East-West mindset.
Many Hong Kong and Chinese people and other Asians are often surprised when I tell them about the growing presence of Chinese communities and businesses in Africa, about the economic potential of Africa as the richest continent in the world in terms of natural resources such as gold, diamond, manganese and oil. There is a lot that Asians are missing out about Africa in choosing to operationalise the world in terms of an erroneous East-West dichotomy. For African-Asian relations to flourish, Asians must revise their world-view, moving away from a conceptualization of world affairs in terms of East and West.

6. The way forward: how to improve Asian-African links
The first step towards strengthening African-Asian relations is for Asians to adopt a global, rather than an East-West dichotomous, approach to world culture. Asians must accord Africa new conceptual spaces in their mindsets. To do this they must dispel and desist from constructing a bi-polar view of the world, they must not see relations between them and the rest of the world as one of East and West. Asians must embrace a more global view of the world to give more conceptual spaces to non-Western parts of the world like Africa, the Carribean islands, and South America.
The second step is to follow up on this expansion of the Asian world-view to give conceptual prominence to Africa by establishing concrete economic and cultural links between Asia and Africa. Tourism is one area that can benefit tremendously. Africa is obviously a potential tourist destination of the highest magnitude. With its wild life and uninhabited and unspoilt nature, Africa will appeal so much to Asian tourism. Trade, cultural, and educational exchanges stand to benefit a lot from a rediscovery of Africa in a new Asian mindset.
Finally, Africans in Asia and elsewhere, such as in America, who know Asia well must play a role and serve as catalysts to sell Africa to Asia and other parts of the world. There is an emerging trend of African communities in parts of Asia, especially in megacities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. These must play a pioneering role in drawing the attention of Asia to the potentials of Africa.

7. Conclusions
In this talk, I have tried to outline some historical, cultural, and linguistic connections between Africa and Asia. Archeological studies have revealed that the African continent indeed served as habitat for early Asians. These have been corroborated by recent genetic studies that point to Africa as the earliest habitat of humanity. Chinese and many other Asians can only trace their earliest ancestry to Africa. Present-day indigenous communities in parts of Asia like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka point to a clear African link. African-Asian communities exist!
There are also clear cultural and linguistic link-ups between Africa and Asia. Some belief systems such as ancestor worship and the belief in totems are strikingly similar across Asia and Africa. There are genetic linguistic and typological similarities between the languages of Africa and Asia.
I have also argued that Africans and Asians have not taken advantage of these important links and relationships because of the way many Asians see the world. To move forward, Asians – and indeed people in all parts of the world - ought to discard a bi-polar view of the world and embrace a more universalist view in which Africa can gain new conceptual spaces. Trade, tourism, and other economic, educational and cultural links can only flourish if Africans and Asians work towards greater cooperation.

  • Ansted as a Universal University

In the education sector, Africans and Asians can take advantage of new paradigms of education in our Age of Information Technology such as the emergence and consolidation of open and distance education and cooperate more in terms of training their populations for their manpower needs. That is why it is gratifying that we are all gathered here in Malaysia at Ansted University, a University that so much epitomizes what I will call a Universal University, in the sense that it transcends the West, the East, the North and the South. I am told that Ansted University has more than 40 campuses in many parts of the world. If so, it is a truly global University, and represents the new paradigm of higher education that should and must be emulated by many other educational institutions in the world for a better understanding of our vast universe. A better understanding of the world is a precondition for fostering peaceful relations among the different regions and peoples of the world.


Not all issues of African-Asian relations could have been possibly handled here. There are certainly very important economic similarities and links that have not been explored. One also needs to know how Africans on the African continent think of Asia and the nature of Asian communities in Africa. Further, one needs to investigate the consequences of the inability of Africans and Asians to relate more to each other on the nature of comparative studies in either continent. Finally, there is the need to investigate the impact of an increased African-Asian cooperation on world bodies and global politics.
I have provided below a list of references and bibliographical sources and websites to assist in the further exploration of these ideas.

8. References/bibliography/Websites Resources
The African-Asian Society. 2000. An NGO website managed from South Africa http://www.africanasiansociety.com/
Bodomo, A. B. 1998. Publish or Perish: Notes from Africa. In CERCular: Newsletter of the Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong, no 2, pp 6-7.
Bodomo, A. B. 2000. AfricansInHongKong website:

http://communities.msn.com/AfricansInHongKong/home.htm
Bodomo, A. B. 2001. Historical, Cultural, and Linguistic Links between Africa and Asia, ms, University of Hong Kong
Brunson, James E. 1985. Black Jade: The African Presence in the Ancient East and Other Essays. Introduction by Runoko Rashidi. DeKalb: Kara.
Brunson, James E. 1989. The Image of the Black in Eastern Art. Pt. 1, Black Roots in Most Ancient China (1766 B.C. - 950 B.C.) DeKalb: Kara.
Brunson, James E. 1989. Kamite Brotherhood: African Origins in Early Asia. DeKalb: Kara.
Chai, Chen Kang. 1967. Taiwan Aborigines: A Genetic Study of Tribal Variations. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Chang, Kwang-chih. 1968. The Archaeology of Ancient China. Rev. ed. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Chi, Li. 1967. The Formation of the Chinese People: An Anthropological Inquiry. 1928; rpt. New York: Russell & Russell.
Cooper, Kenneth J. 1999. "Within South Asia, A Little Touch of Africa." Washington Post Foreign Service, April 12,1999.
Duyvendak, J.J.L. 1949. China's Discovery of Africa. London: Probsthain.
Filesi, Teobaldo. 1972. China and Africa in the Middle Ages. Translated by David L. Morison. London: Frank Cass.
Griffith, Victoria. 2001. "Human Race Emerged ‘from Africa’." The London Financial Times, May 10, 2001.
Horton, Mark. 1987. "The Swahili Corridor." Scientific American (Sep 1987): 86-93.
Hotz, Robert Lee. 1998. "Chinese Roots Lie in Africa, Research Says." Los Angeles Times, Sep 29, 1998.
Kochiyama, Yuri. 1998. A History of Linkage: African and Asian, African American and Asian American. In “Shades of Power: Newsletter of the Institute for Multi-Racial Justice”, Spring 1998.

http://www.hardboiled.org/2-3/linkage.html
Luke, K. K. and Adams Bodomo. 1998. A semantic typology of serial verb constructions in Dagaare and Cantonese. ms, University of Hong Kong.
Rashidi, Runoko and Ivan Van Sertima. (eds). 1995. The African Presence in Early Asia. Rev. ed. New Brunswick: Transaction Press.
Rashidi, Ronoko. 1998. The Global African Community website: http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/runoko.html
Rashidi, Runoko, 2001. The African Presence in Early China: a Bibliography. Website: http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/east.html
The 1990 Trust. 2001. A website for the promotion of the interests of people of Asian, Caribbean and African origin living in Britain

http://www.blink.org.uk/organ/1990t.htm
Winters, Clyde-Ahmad. 1978. "Trade Between East Africa and Ancient China." Afrikan Mwalimu 4, No. 3 (1978).
Winters, Clyde-Ahmad. 1979. "The Relationship of Afrikans and Chinese in the Past." Afrikan Mwalimu (Jan 1979): 25-31.
Winters, Clyde-Ahmad. 1984. "Blacks in Ancient China, Pt. 1: The Founders of Xia and Shang." Journal of Black Studies (1984): 8-13.

9. Biographical Note
Dr. Adams B. Bodomo is Assistant Professor at the Department of Linguistics, University of Hong Kong. Born in Ghana, West Africa, he studied at the University of Ghana, Accra and at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. In 1994-95 he was a visiting lecturer at the Stanford-Berkeley Center for African Studies, Stanford, California. Since 1997, he has been on the faculty of the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Bodomo has expertise and interests in Linguistics, Literacy Studies and Information Technology. His recent projects include the digitization of African culture (language and music) and a multilingual on-line lexical resource of Dagaare-Cantonese-English which won the Dictionary Society of North America’s Laurence Urdang award in Lexicography. Dr. Bodomo is Vice-President of the Ghana Computer Literacy and Distance Education (GhaCLAD) Group.



1 I have a project on: ‘A Survey of Chinese Communities in Africa: linguistic and educational aspects’, pending funding.





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