The plan for the day was to get to the Ion Mall and buy a few clothes for the kids. We took the very first step by calling a cab and requested to be taken to Orchard Street. The trip from Marina Bay Sands to Orchard Street was a fifteen minute drive and one gets caught up with the sights and sounds of Singapore. Before we knew it, we were there.
On alighting at the mall, the plans changed. I wasn’t the least surprised by this, it’s in the character of my family to do this as often as they can . At least, until I say enough. This time, they will like to have their breakfast before anything else. We wandered around a bit and then at a corner I saw the Popeyes logo. I was enthralled and parted ways with the rest of the gang, who by now have chosen to have their meal at a high end restaurant. I have always relished cajun food and all the gombos that come from Louisiana.
The lady that attended to me was cautious and the aroma from the kitchen was mouth watering. Soon, my meal arrived and I settled down to savor it. I was enjoying the meal when I started looking at the layout of the shop, the art decors and the various designs on the wall. Then I saw it. The 7 Nations of Louisiana.
It couldn’t be! Was it me? I wasn’t sure. After all my kids have been telling me recently of how bad my English had become. Even if they were right, something was wrong with the poster. Seven nations, Louisiana? Oh yes, its the nation word that is amiss. The modern invention called smart phones has made all needed information to be available at one’s fingertips. Soon I brought out my Samsung Galaxy from where it was hiding and with a few strokes here and there, I was on dictionary.com to get a definition of the word – nation. Of the four definitions that I got, the most apt states that a nation is an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages.
I knew it, the piece by Popeyes was wrong. Popeyes had stated that Louisiana was settled by people from seven different nations and went on to list these nations as Native American, England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Africa. The truth is Africa is not a nation in the way that any of England, Germany, Spain, Italy or France can be regarded as one. At the simplest, as any elementary geography student would know, Africa is a continent of nations. To compare like terms, it might have been permissible for Popeyes to state that Louisiana was populated by people from three continents – America, Europe and Africa.
So on what basis will anyone regard Africa as a nation? I pondered a little on what the thoughts were that went through the minds of the Popeyes advertising team. I couldn’t fathom it. With 54 fully recognized sovereign states and at least 1billion people, I still cannot understand how this large land mass has come to be regarded as one nation. Yet the smaller land mass called Europe was broken down by Popeyes to show the respective constituents of England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France amongst others. I think a similar comparison would have been to mention the Zulus, the KhoiKhoi, the Maasai, the Touaregs, the Yorubas, Hausas among other countless nations within Africa.
For the records and, perhaps, to correct the fallacies that Popeyes had made, Africa is a continent, in fact the second largest continent. It is not a nation, no matter the way that word is stretched. I hope the good people of Popeyes will correct this, being more enlightened and believing that this error was a result of an honest mistake and not intentional mischief.
By the way the word nation has been in use since around 1250 to 1300, hence not much excuse exist for Popeyes for the wrong usage of the word.