Showing respect to and taking care of one’s parents is something Islam and our culture/traditions teach us. It is even extended to all the elders who are often called mother and father. Unfortunately, sometimes, we hear of children misbehaving with or beating their parents, when not worse.
Below are three Kabyle stories which aim at reminding us of the place our parents should have in our hearts and lives.
1/A man lived with his wife in his mother’s place. Issues between spouses and in-laws are known (and common?) all around the world. The wife convinced her husband to kill his mother and bring her liver. The choice of the liver is important as it is symbolic in our part of the world of the love between parents and children. So the man did kill his mother and put her liver in a bag. On his way home, it started raining so he heard his mother’s liver say, “cover yourself my son, I don’t want you to catch a cold”. A Kabyle saying goes as “she spoke from inside a bag”.
A young man was working under the rain. His mother was worried and kept asking him to go back to the inside till the rain stops. His answer was always the same, “it is nothing mom, you worry too much”. Seeing that her son didn’t understand her, she went back home and brought her grand-son (her son’s son) and put him under the rain. Seeing the little boy, the son rushed to protect him. He finally understood her mother’s feelings for him.
An old man lived in his son’s house. At some point, the son got tired of taking care of his father and decided to throw him away. He called his little son and told him to bring a big bag. The boy asked his father why he wanted the bag. “It is to put your grandpa in it and throw him in the river”. The son went and came back with two big bags. The father said one bag was enough, but the son answered, “the second bag is for when you will become old”. The father cried and apologised to his father.