Térété is about discussing things going on within a couple in a fruitful way. It is a song that women in villages use to indicate that they want to discuss something important with their husbands. It could be anything. If the husband hears it and starts singing along, it is a good sign for the expected conversation.
It originated from a story about a Bwa couple, where the atmosphere is not so good because the husband – when he drinks – has ‘an evil temper’. When he has consumed alcohol, he is no longer kind and loving towards his wife and children but instead is troublesome and aggressive. The wife and children in the family suffer from the nasty behaviour of their husband and father during his drinking. To bring up his bad behaviour during that alcohol consumption usually does not work and so one day his wife does so while he is sober and she is busy with household chores something like pounding the millet, or grinding flour on the millstone or doing the laundry (something with rhythm to which you can sing a song). While singing, she names his evil drunkenness and the trials that it brings to the wife and family. She also names in the song that she prevents him (in a sober state) from touching her at night and then tells him that he is insufferable when he drinks! He starts singing along and the ice is broken to discuss this difficult subject!
Now when the song is sung and the man answers singing along, the ground is set for a fruitful conversation! In the song as sung now, some lines from the (original) story emerge that are characteristic of the situation.
Térété Téré: The burden of bad behavior!