EDITORIAL

In 2020, a year which will perhaps go down in history as the year of the corona crisis (or perhaps just as its beginning?), it is appropriate to examine the impact that this pandemic has had on the Bulsa and especially on the publication of our magazine. At the time of the deadline for BULUK 13, the editor was only aware of one case of COVID-19 in Wiaga. More important were probably the restrictions imposed by the state, such as for meetings, parties, school events and all other social occasions.
For our magazine, the threat of illness made a noticeable impact on the distribution of issue 12. Although it was already printed in December 2019, and, moreover, a Buli Language Guide was published in April 2020, both issues, apart from individual mailings in Europe and America, have not yet been distributed completely. On the one hand, according to some Bulsa, the proper and punctual postal delivery was not guaranteed, and, on the other hand, the publishers did not want to endanger the health of the distributors by unnecessarily compelling their close contacts with the recipients.
I would like to take this opportunity – somewhat belatedly – to thank all of those who have been responsible for the distribution of BULUK for years: Prof. Albert Awedoba in Legon, John Agandin and Albert Agoabey Anamogsi in Accra, Robert Asekabta and Yaw Akumasi in the Bulsa area and Prof. Marcus Watson in the United States. Thank you so much!
In the editorial of BULUK 12 (2019), I proposed “Bulsa Unity – Integrating and Disintegrating Components” as a topic for the main feature. However, this proved to be a difficult and perhaps even controversial topic, and I did not receive any contributions from Bulsa. With that in mind, I did not consider it appropriate to publish my own observations and opinion as the only contribution.
In the editorials of previous issues, I have always lamented that too few Bulsa are willing to write an article for our magazine. This has changed completely with the present issue. Of the 28 contributions, 19 were created by Bulsa. In particular the great willingness of the Bulsa community to compose their own original poems has led to a change in the topic of the previously planned “Main Feature”. The four poets of the five poems probably represent only a small fraction of Bulsa who wrote poems before. In Western culture, poem writing has become less widespread in recent decades. In my grandparents’ time, amateurs were probably much more likely to engage in this activity, and my mother once showed me a love poem she had received as a young girl from an admirer.
Ghanatta Ayaric and John Agandin, representing fictional prose, each wrote a short story. As both chose the journey in a vehicle (bus/car) as their topic, the great difference between travelling in the south and north of Ghana became evident.
When I noticed the beautiful pictures of Robert Saala-biik (the painter) and Eric Anadem (the photographer), I made up my mind to extend the main feature to “Creative Bulsa: Artists, Poets and Writers”, thus including visual art. For a short moment, I even considered including musical works by composers such as Kwame Abolik in the section of the main theme. However, technical difficulties (for example presenting melodies on a DVD or in musical notation) did not allow it.
It is a coincidence that the non-fictional essays in BULUK 13 dealing with Bulsa culture, society and religion were written, to a large extent, by Bulsa Christian theologians. They deal with questions about whether and to what extent Christians may participate in traditional funeral ceremonies (see Rev. Francis Azognab) or draw a comparison between Bulsa purification rites with Old Testament ones (see Rev. Stephen Azundem). Joseph Aduedem, a Catholic seminarian, wrote a detailed account on the second funeral celebration (Juka) as well as his time as a shepherd boy without completely abandoning theological aspects and comparisons.
The editor (F.K.), inspired by some field notes which he found while working through his extensive field research material, has published analytic descriptions of four smaller phenomena of Bulsa culture.
No decision has yet been made about the main feature of BULUK 14. The deferred topic “Bulsa Unity…” may still be relevant. I have also noticed how important the topic “Traditional Food” is for modern Bulsa and the role it plays as part of Bulsa culture. At the Feok festivals, Bulsa women cook traditional food and find great acceptance and approval among the guests. In the Bulsa social media, e.g. in the Facebook group “Buluk Kaniak”, photos of traditional food, fruits and finished meals appear again and again. They are usually met with great approval by the readers who no longer have access to these dishes.
Another reason for this topic is that the editor (F.K.) collected extensive material on food and nutrition in Ghana from 1970-2012. Originally it was intended for publication in book form. In a shortened form it would also have provided the material for at least one essay.

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The two editors, John Agandin and Franz Kröger, wish this 13th issue of BULUK to reach as many Bulsa and those interested in Bulsa culture as possible in spite of the corona crisis.

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