Showing posts from 2012

Every day racism: If we don't talk about it, it doesn't exist.

So ok then, let's talk about the largely racist society - a term I used in my last post to describe the world we live in - and some of you don't agree.

Without wanting to attack anybody,  I have to say that so far only "white" people don't agree or in some cases even feel they have to be on the defense when they read this. And whats more, they are mostly white, educated and liberal people, who "love" their domestic workers, give to charities and truly believe that "color does not matter" and "we are all equal". So really they should have the cognitive abilities to see things from different perspectives sometimes - and this would also mean to acknowledge that from a non-white perspective things in today's South Africa are not so rosy when it comes to distribution of wealth and privilege - so why this refusal to look at our society critically and attempt to change things rather than live in denial? and why this radical defensive r…

You are listening - but can you hear me?

In true listening, we reach behind the words,  to find the person who is being revealed... There is the semantic problem of course. The words bear a different connotation for you than they do for me. Consequently I can never tell what you said but only what I heard. I will have to rephrase what you said and check it out with you to make sure that what left your mind and heart arrived in my mind and heart intact and without contortions. (John Powell)  Recently I found myself in the middle of  this "dialogue thing" - a group of people sharing and listening, more accurately, women sharing and listening - and most importantly women of different cultures and skin colors sharing and listening to each other.

And while I am writing this, I am wondering  how the most important part of this evening for me, the fact that I am able to connect with a woman from a different culture/race to mine, becomes difficult for me to put into words that don't seem awkward and stilted but natural an…

Are you proudly African?

During a diversity lecture in my college this question was given to everyone  as a homework assignment: do you consider yourself an African?

Well, that's an easy one I thought: I am a foreigner, aren't I? So: No.

Happy to get that assignment out of the way, I closed my notebook and went on to cook supper for the family. As I am not the Buddhist kind of cooker, Zen and the art of chopping up carrots and potatoes does not quite absorb my hyperactive mind so it got me thinking instead: If I am not an African, despite having spent more time in this country than anywhere else in the world, what am I? European? German? What is it that makes me whatever I consider myself to be? My place of birth, my genetic background, certain physical features, likes or dislikes, language, beliefs, traditions like having Christmas on the 24th of December rather than on the 25th and cooking  raclette instead of turkey? But-  hang on - surely Christmas turkey or even Christmas is not an African trad…

Coconuts and other hairy stuff - lets talk about race baby!

This can't be true  - has it really been 6 months or so, since my last attempt to keep at it??? If it wasn't for you (you know who) and you (yes, you too) telling me I NEEDED to write more, I would be too embarrassed to even officially declare this blog dead - leave alone keep posting at 6 months intervals. As it is though, I love writing and venting and opinionating and reflecting about life, SO (big sigh)- here I am again, despite my best efforts to self boycott.

And today's special is: coconut shake with sweet 'n sour vanilla flavour

Lately I found myself at college again, in  a proudly post apartheid environment, many cultures present, in the midst of a lively discussion about racism, prejudice, white guilt and other favourite things to pretend-discuss amongst educated South Africans. Everybody had something to say that seemed to come straight from a political banner or out of the 2012 handbook for political correctness.

Bottom line: WeareSOoverit!

 Between stateme…

soooooo out of the loop - fear, race and fairy tales

Its been so long, I have so many excuses, and none of them really count. Coming back to my blog feels like opening the door to a cupboard that I haven't been in in such a long time that I am scared what I might find there. Moths come flying out, clothes are scattered about, some of them even make me feel embarrassed - I was wearing THAT??? Anyway - good excuse or not: I started studying - for the third time - and am slowly finding my way around text books, computer based courses and whole mornings spent at school with classmates the age my kids should really be by now, had I made up my mind about having them, before starting my midlife crisis. Most important lesson learned so far: teenagers  (or people the age my kids should be by now) are really just people who are (a lot)  younger - but other than that, not so scary-alien as previously believed by me. They do of course like their own company and regard me (and the other oldish girl in my class) like one indulgently looks upon an…

Congratulations: She's a little boy!

My daughter Kala came to us about a week before her 3 rd birthday and announced in a cheerful voice:

I don't want Barney at my party anymore, I want a Spiderman Party, because I am a boy.

As it was only half past five in the morning, on a dark and gloomy winters day, I just yawned and mumbled: oh, that's nice darling, let's talk about it later.

Hoping of course that she'd forget all about it by breakfast time, as we had already booked the themed Barney venue including a garish purple dinosaur cake. But as the day progressed she asked me at 5 minute intervals whether I had organised her Spiderman party,  giving me no choice but to phone the party people and pray that by Saturday she won't turn into a frog and we'd have to spray the walls green and all wear gumboots to her pond party....

Now I know some things about phases and stages in a three year olds life as I have been there before with Leah, who transformed from princess to helicopter pilot to fairy to b…