“It is an ungrateful life to ignore bora. To forget the sacrifices made by others, which guide a life to a higher place, is to bring shame upon one’s ancestors. For it is they who gave their lives to shape the waves—that we might bring blessings to others this day.” - Duron ProverbEvery season is an opportunity to acknowledge and give thanks, especially on the day of one’s birth. Among the Duron, this day is called bora [boo-rah], which means ‘to give’ or ‘bestowal’. Children are taught at a very early age to express their love and appreciation for the kindness and sacrifice of others. To show, through an open display of thoughtfulness, one’s gratitude towards those who have provided for you, sacrificed for you, and protected you in the world.
The ActOn one’s bora, the child celebrating their day of birth chooses someone who has performed a kindness—usually something substantial, such as providing food, clothing or shelter. However, there are times when it is someone who might be key in the existence of a child, such as a grandparent. Part of the the importance of bora is the thought put into the act of kindness. Often a person is observed for a time in advance, so that a need presents itself, which the child can then affect in a positive way. This often takes the form of a chore, repairs of some kind, or offering to be of service for a time to relieve a measure of day to day burden from the individual.
Bora-AmAs a person gets older, bora takes on a greater meaning. Bora-Am [boo-rah-AHM] or ‘heart gift’ is of great weight and value among the Duron. This is measured in the thoughtful sacrifice of one person to another—often gifting something of great personal value—showing how much a person means to the giver. Often a man will perform Bora-Am to the one he loves in an open display as a way to open a proposal of marriage.
Teaching ValuesDuronians take bora seriously. It is a way to instruct children to be of service, to see others as beings of great value—and especially to be valued over material things. This aspect of their culture has keep community ties close, and family ties closer. To give of oneself is to show gratitude, but to value others above the world and what it offers, the Duron consider to be wisdom.
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