Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's one big Obama Partay!

Note that in Kenya I usually introduce myself as such: "Hi! My name is Elisa and yes, I will vote for Obama. " Seriously, I can almost guarantee you that after asking my name, Kenyans will ask me something about Obama. I also tag on "And yes, I too am his cousin" since most people here also claim to be his cousin. :) His grandmother lives in Kogelo in western Kenya and her house has been on high security because of all the publicity! It is an Obama madhouse here with Obama shirts, songs, etc. Poeple have been partying since the previous night already celebrating his impending victory! I would compare the whole election coverage here to the World Cup times 100. Given that he is part Kenyan, the news can be quite biased when they have stories on the presidential election. The Obama "phenomena" is so big that some students said they'd refuse to go to school if Obama wasn't elected president!
Just some FYI about the Kenyan roots of Obama per a NY Times column online: "As for Africa, Mr. Obama’s Kenyan father was of the Luo tribe, a minority that has long suffered brutal discrimination in both Kenya and in Uganda (where it is known as the Acholi). The bitter joke in East Africa is that a Luo has more of a chance of becoming president in the United States than in Kenya." -By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Funny story - My colleagues have proposed that we take a trip to Kisumu to set me up with some Luo man so I can conceive the next American president and they can continue the Kenyan legacy. Hmmmm....tempting but I'll pass.

So get this.... tomorrow is a public holiday in Kenya per President Kibaki due to Obama's win! Wow! Being an American in another country has really opened my eyes on how influential American politics truly is. However, I hope some Kenyans aren't disappointed if there is no significant change in Kenya with Obama as president since some people have really high hopes. However, only time will tell. And with that I will leave you with two very interesting articles on:

The worldwide perception with having a Black president - Rebranding the U.S. With Obama
The tricky voting system of the US -
How Much Is Your Vote Worth?
How Kenyans are naming their kids Obama and Michelle - Name Craze

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