Friday, December 11, 2009

My Kind of People

{Image from}

Maisha wrote a post about “home is where the history is”. My history and my home is in a small town in the Western Cape called Ceres. Until last year it was actually on a farm in the Koue Bokkeveld but then my parents moved into their dream home in town.
I arrived in the land of milk and honey late Saturday night after a day of traveling from Dar to Zanzibar to Johannesburg to Cape Town. Since then, I have been relishing all the things that I have missed living in Dar especially speaking my mother tongue 24/7.

I have an interesting love/hate relationships with my past. Being back in my parents' home and reading Max Du Preez's book “Pale Native” has made me think about that again. I am “trots Afrikaans” (proudly Afrikaans) but the history of the Afrikaans people, what they stood for and what they believed in has never endeared me much to my forefathers. I do not wish to go into that now.
What I would like to talk about is what I love about my people and what will always make me miss home in the country side. Last night, sitting around a big table loaded with good food and wine, surrounded by friends and family embodies that for me completely.
Around here people don't call weeks in advance to arrange a social gathering. These happen often and unplanned and usually the intension is only a cup of tea after church which inevitable ends in a lazy Sunday lunch.
People greet you on your name in Pick and Pay and inquire about the health of a relative or how business is doing. If someone new moves into the neighbourhood they will receive before the end of the day a bunch of freshly picked flowers or a jar of apricot jam. Children still play in the street and grown ups sokkie (dance) to celebrate the end of the harvest season.
Very dear friends of mine from here have been going through a tough time recently. The husband is sick and has been in and our of hospital for the past year. The way that the community has rallied around them has left me once again appreciate where I come from. The sense of community, the sense of friendship, the sense of family run deep in the veins of these people.

I grew up in a very liberal household, but the above was imprinted on me from a young age. When you are a teenager it is not very cool to hang out with the parents. Now, my favourite thing to do is sit on the stoep with my mom and dad and talk about life in general. I tell them about Dar and talk longingly about the bush and the palm trees, but they also know that I miss my people every day that I am away.


1 comment:

  1. Living in another country forces your to reexamine values that you have always taken for granted. You can then choose which values resonate with you and which ones you only believe in because people have always told you its the way it is. This is an eye opener, I think any Afrikaner can learn from this because like you I also dont agree with most of my past!