Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying To Understand The Other Race

Jane Ndlovu

Many in the world think we have dealt with a lot of apartheid wounds. I don’t think so though. Our way of dealing with them is to promote certain people’s cultures over others. I think Afrikaans people are often ignored in South Africa.

I remember sitting at home during the opening ceremony of the FIFA world cup and watching what was supposed to be African culture. Even that is a debate all on its own. I realised that there was one culture that was evidently missing. That is the culture of a boer in South Africa.

Could ignoring the culture of an Afrikaans man be South Africa’s method of dealing with the wounds of the past? Maybe some feel that if they are ignored than we might forget about apartheid all together. But for South Africa to have proper reconciliation then it would be wise to celebrate all those who live in it and their cultures.

I think ignoring certain cultures is forcing us to have a lack of understanding about each other’s cultures and as a result hinders the reconciliation process.

By not talking about each other’s cultures we end up pretending that we have forgiven each other. But if we really had then we would not raise tempers each time there is a conflict between two people of different races. Sometimes you even find outsiders picking sides and often they would support the person of the race they belong to.

With this lack of understanding you sometimes hear people even issuing out threats to each other. At times these come from uninformed opinions on ‘the other’ race.

Even criminals would say they break into white people’s houses because they didn’t work for their money. White people might not trust black people and think each one walking towards their car is a criminal about to hijack them. All these views come from uninformed opinions about each other.

I believe that if the Afrikaans culture was given the same recognition in South Africa then black people would understand them a bit more. White people should also try to understand black cultures rather than viewing black men as inferior to them.

With that we might end up finding proper reconciliation in South Africa.

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