Strollers: a cultural quirk

“It’s not so wonderful. In Africa, we just carry our children or let them roam. They can’t sit like lumps.”

The above is my favorite quote from this article about trying to introduce this staple of modern parenthood into the mothering routine in Kenya.

In the US, we talk about babywearing enhancing the relationship between mother and baby.  In Kenya, where strollers are not the norm, they worry that the introduction of the stroller “may damage the relationship between a mother and a child.”

The shift in viewpoint produces more dramatic language that specifically calls out the stroller as a potential danger.  It’s interesting to note that even those of us who shun the device are colored enough by our culture to refer to babywearing–and not strollers–as the alternative, discussing babywearing benefits instead of stroller hazards.

“It’s just not Kenyan…For the child, the love will not be there if the child is cooped up in such an antisocial device.”  Do we really want that description labeled “American” instead?

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