Protocol and Order during the Mourning Period for the Late President Moi: Understanding Official Discourse of the Disciplined Forces and Cultural Ideologies
This paper is a reflection on both the language and acts of protocol and honour witnessed during the days of mourning and funeral service of the second President of the Republic of Kenya, Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, between the fourth and the twelfth of February 2020. Interviews with some military officers were used to shed light on the meanings of the texts and acts of honour and protocol. These include; the Presidential Proclamation, the flags traditions, the military marches, and the gun ceremony by army. The army was in charge of most of the ceremonies and activities that took place during that time of mourning. This discourse and honorary acts are contrary to another underplayed disgruntled discourse that those who suffered under the KANU regime had. Is it a cultural thing not to say ill of the departed? Was the media down playing these contrary views because of what they called ‘negative Kenyan groupthink’? Discourse analysis theory was used to help shed light on the intricacies of language and meanings in the discourse of the disciplined forces and other discourses backgrounded in these events yet are part of human experiences and activities. The gist of the paper is how discursive elements in the chosen texts and acts (for this article, the military) have practical, ritual, symbolic, semiotic, and cultural functions. In discussing this one event, the paper endeavours to show the importance of language in revealing social and cultural ideologies and how this knowledge helps in understanding peoples’ lives. As a social practice, language informs the social structure; who the people are, their behaviours and way of life
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