If I went back to my village with a tattoo that can easily be spotted, my grandfather would probably disown me there and then. It’s as bad as plaiting long dreadlocks.
You see, in the deep village where my grandfather resides – back in Kabale, dreadlocks are associated with ‘rastas’ ( Rastafarian ) … and its so damn hard to convince granny and his village mates that a Rastafarian is actually not always a bad character.
I used to think that the kind of mindset my grandfather has, is perhaps stuck with the old generation, but to my surprise, even some of my age mates ( twenty something … ) believe that a person who has a tattoo should not be trusted. They think such people are shady and wild.
Most of the times, they are referred to as ‘bayaaye’. ‘Bayaaye’ is the plural form of the Luganda word ‘muyaaye’ which is basically used as a negative connotation that means you are a hooligan, idler, criminal, rogue, thug or defiant. Ironically, some people also use it to define achievers.
By definition, a tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment and most people who have tattoos, often have a reason as to why they got them in the first place.
For instance, to say something enduring, to memorialize an event or laud a loved one, to affiliate with a group, to wax philosophical in a foreign language, to ensure the constant companionship of mermaids or pinups or spirit animals, or our musical or political idols, living or dead and others get tattoos simply to look stylish and up-to-date.
According to internet statistics, 16 percent of the world’s population has tattoos, with that number sure to rise in the very near future given societies’ gradual acceptance for body modification.
Am not sure about other religions, but for Christians, the Bible does not specifically address the modern practice of tattooing as body adornment. While Leviticus:19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord,” most scholars believe these practices were related to mourning for the dead.
Now, while some people strategically choose tattoos that can be covered by ordinary pieces of clothing, other more daring art enthusiasts select body parts and appendages that can’t be as easily covered.[related_posts]
However, while selecting where you’re going to put a tattoo is the easy part, it’s selecting what you’re going to make a permanent addition to one’s body that takes a little time. But I think it’s important to choose both wisely, because where you put it and what you get speaks volumes about your personality.
For example … some people will look at you as a ‘muyaaye’. Question is; how valid is such judgement?