Archive for August, 2009

The P.A. System

August 31st, 2009 29 comments

whitesonlyPetty Apartheid.
Age 8.
“Non-whites may not (insert list of basic human rights).”
How could ANYONE ever have thought this was a good idea?
Where were my parents?
Why didn’t they speak up?
What were they thinking?

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Petty Apartheid

August 31st, 2009 196 comments

Petty Apartheid


A system of racial segregation that focuses principally on public places, such as restaurants, hotels, and public transportation.

Petty Apartheid, named by the “regime” for the branch of Apartheid laws that dealt with keeping people separate on a daily basis. These are the laws that kept blacks and whites apart on the beaches, public toilets and disallowed interracial relationships.

From the first drafts and minor edits, I can tell you that this topic is definitely going to cause a lot of frustration, anger and shame but we’ll get through it together and we’ll hopefully get some dialog going that will lead to even more understanding.

Keep the comments and suggestions coming in!


Categories: Announcements, Petty Apartheid Tags:

Afrikaans: Alles Is Mos Reg

August 27th, 2009 12 comments

evitaAfrikaans. Jong, you either love it or you blerry hate it.

The mere mention of the word conjures up images of my school classmates wincing in dismay as our Afrikaans teacher announced that the following week’s homework was to prepare a “mondeling” on some relevant topic. Kids would go to truly staggering lengths to get out of those classes. Even more remarkable was the number of suburban dogs that were partial to the taste of Afrikaans homework…
Personally, my allegiance falls on the love side of things. But then, I did get a lucky break when it comes to being “tweetalig”.

In the December of 1981, my family emigrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa. I was seven years old and had never heard a single word of Afrikaans. As fate would have it, we moved directly to Sasolburg in the Orange Free State. Afrikaans heaven, ne?.

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Categories: Afrikaans Tags: , ,

My Children Don’t Sing My Culture Anymore

August 26th, 2009 8 comments

My culture was long strangled by it’s so-called advocates.

I was brought up semi-schizo, with my Afrikaans mother and very English dad and going to a super-conservative Afrikaans school while living in an English suburb. But that was nothing compared to what was going down a few years later, when the “struggle” really came to a head in urban environs. By that time I had gone forth and multiplied, had published verse in my beloved mother tongue, and considered myself one of the Afrikaans avant-garde (or avant-guano, as my friends and I preferred to call it, as most of our ideals had been shot to shit by the ardent right wing fools). And even then I saw the death-knell coming.

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Categories: Afrikaans Tags: , ,

Om Die Rooinek Te Vererg

August 25th, 2009 20 comments

dictionaryI’m afraid that since I left school Afrikaans has been nothing more than an annoying ex. You know the one – you don’t want to talk to them, they don’t want to talk to you and you can’t believe you were ever with them.

It’s not that I have anything particular against Afrikaans – I’m just glad I no longer have to speak it. I simply wasn’t built to get around all the difficult sounds. I can’t brrrei – it comes out all flat and horrible sounding. Although I can fully understand quite a lot, pronouncing the title of this piece sounds like I’m trying to speak with marbles in my mouth. In fact, I firmly believe that the whole language was created as a weapon against the British.

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Categories: Afrikaans Tags: , ,

Dit Spyt My, Ek Verstaan Jou Nie

August 25th, 2009 42 comments

kurtdarrenI suppose like any ex convent Catholic schoolgirl one has to start with the confession. Mine starts out something like this (I was never really good at this, so here goes): Forgive me father for I have sinned, I confess that I hate Afrikaans…. with a passion!
There I said it! I said it in Johannesburg, South Africa.. I said it. (Damn! I love Chris Rock). Now, I’m sure to the millions of Afrikaaners out there this is sacrilege and you all cannot wait to be burn me at the stake. But, before you grab your firey torches and march down the road, let me explain…

How can you say that about our beloved language you shout? Die taal!
One word springs to mind and will answer all your vraagies… Steve Hofmeyr!

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Afrikaans Is Plesierig

August 24th, 2009 6 comments

afrikaansdistributionEk is mal daaroor om Afrikaans te praat want dit is ‘n lekker taal, but I am more comfortable writing in English. As ek met my pa praat, praat ons Afrikaans, but the conversation switches to English when I speak to my mom. I hear Afrikaans on a daily basis in the most “English” of countries and have used Afrikaans to establish that I am not from England while traveling through Europe. I know nothing about linguistics, but instead a language is more about the people who speak it.

Some words and expressions just sound so much better/dramatic in Afrikaans – one of them being deurmekaar. That word sums up my attitude towards a language I grew up with.

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To Kak Or Not To Kak

August 21st, 2009 11 comments

I have a love/hate relationship with Afrikaans.

First, the love part:

I love how expressive it can be. There are certain words and phrases that just can’t be translated. Words like padkos, dagga, soutie, even borewors. But my all time favorite word is; kak.
I love it. Short, sweet and expressively to the point. It’s kak! Fuck, it’s great I’m smiling to myself as I write it. KAK. LOL.

Unfortunately the love part of my relationship with Afrikaans is pretty short compared to the hate part.

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Categories: Afrikaans Tags: , ,

Just Another South African Language

August 20th, 2009 10 comments

publicspeakingStraight to it then – I do not care for Afrikaans. Let me preface that by saying my closest friend is Afrikaans. Very Afrikaans. My family, too, speak the language. Fluently. Many of them speak it with the frequency of a first language. So do not mistake my not caring for Afrikaans the language as my not caring for Afrikaans-speaking people… two very different things.

Excuse the direct – bordering on rude – approach to writing this piece. I’ve spent the better part of six weeks trying to unpack how I really feel about the language. This self-inflicted anxiety was because, truth be told, I don’t feel anything for the language. It neither angers me nor inspires me. It neither alienates nor invites me. I’m numb to it.

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Categories: Afrikaans Tags: , ,

Love It Or Hate It…

August 18th, 2009 6 comments

RooinekI was forced, along with all other kids in the land, to learn Afrikaans at school and it was a language I despised as a child. This I think was mainly because the main protagonists in our childhood rivalries were predominantly Afrikaans and we were usually in the minority and so tended to lose these arguments. I can still hear the shouted insults between two groups of youngsters. ” Rooinekke” aimed at the English kids and the equally disparaging “Rock-Spiders” being hurled back.

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Categories: Afrikaans Tags: ,