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The Story of What Happens When Two Cultures Collide

When he was orphaned at age four, Enock Bello was taken into a Chinese owned and run orphanage in Malawi. The difference between this orphanage and many others in Malawi is that the children are expected to learn Chinese, Buddhism, and martial arts. Essentially, they are being trained as young Chinese people even though they are Malawians. This conflict is the center of the narrative tension in the film, Buddha in Africa. The documentary takes us on a journey with Enock from childhood to the day it is time to go to college. Along the way, Enoch finds himself lost between two cultures with no real peace in either. His family is from Mangochi, Malawi, where the Yao people are from. The Yao are predominantly Muslim and their language is known as Chi-Yao. Most Malawians are Christians who speak Chi-Chewa. Enock is surrounded by Chi-Chewa speakers in the orphanage and learns Chi-Chewa but cannot speak Chi-Yao. This results from the inability to leave his orphanage and visit Mangochi, where his people are from, once a year for two weeks.