Unveiling the Veil of Silence: Culture, Secrecy, and Pastoral Care in Botswana's Naomi/Laban Showers

Keywords: Culture of Silence, Naomi/Laban Showers, Pastoral Care, Gender Roles, Family Communication


Botswana's cherished cultural tradition, the Naomi/Laban showers, conceals a pervasive culture of silence concerning family matters, secrecy, and gender roles. Employing qualitative research methods like interviews, participant observations, and document analysis, this study explores the multifaceted impact of this culture of silence. It delves into the cultural and symbolic significance of draping a white shawl or blanket during these showers, signifying a vow of silence. Additionally, it investigates how this culture of silence shapes family dynamics, communication, and gender roles within Botswana's socio-cultural context. The role of pastoral caregivers and the Christian church in navigating this silence and providing support is also examined. Balancing the preservation of cultural traditions with addressing contemporary challenges is a central theme. This research aims to uncover pastoral care strategies that encourage healthy communication, gender equality, and family unity while respecting cultural norms. It seeks to deepen our understanding of the intricate relationship between culture, secrecy, and pastoral care during Naomi/Laban showers.


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Author Biography

Tshenolo Madigele, University of Botswana, University of South Africa
Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana;  Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa