Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
I have for many years felt as if I’m not really a part of this country, merely a citizen. Should you look at the entire culture of this country and then look at me, you will see for yourself that I don’t really belong.
The culture of this country of ours revolves largely around braais, outdoor living, sokkie, rugby, 4x4, lather, rinse and repeat.
Now you take me, as a bad example. I am not a particular fan of the braai. Outdoor living is for the birds. Sokkie is something for me to make fun of. Rugby is something that someone else finds interesting. A 4x4 is something that is driven by a massive douche bag.
At some stage of my life I realized that I don’t fit in here, in this country. I am not terribly patriotic and given half a chance I would be living somewhere other than South Africa, or even Africa.
One day, some months ago, I heard some guy talking on the radio. He mentioned something which I found interesting at the time, and I can kick myself for not downloading the podcast at the time it happened.
This chap on the wireless was talking about something called “ancestral memories”. The gist of it is that you can feel something for a culture other than the one you were raised in. You might feel more for your ancestors’ culture than you do for your own.
When I heard that, a red flag went up in the old grey matter. This red flag said to me that maybe I was genetically linked more to another culture than the South African culture I had the misfortune of being raised in.
Had you asked me in the early 80s what I am, I would said that I am an Afrikaner. However, had we progressed through time, myself growing as a person through all of that and you ask me the same question what I am, the answer invariably would be that I am an Englishman.
I can speculate that during my formative years, I was formed by the society I grew up in. I was raised Afrikaans, due to the fact that my half Scot, half German mother married my Afrikaans father. I also grew up in what is now known as the “struggle years”.
Up until standard four I was in an Afrikaans class in a dual medium school. From standard five onwards I was in an English school. I do believe that it was in that school that I came to embrace me inherent English-ness.
I have happened to believe this chap on the wireless about the ancestral memories. However, research funding lacking, I have to make do with whatever the Google Machine gives me.
I know I might be a Scot because of the bagpipes, which I like and the Scotch whisky, which I love. Then there’s the German, which might explain why I like Rammstein so much. I have no idea where the Dutch part comes in because I didn’t enjoy smoking pot.
The point I was trying to make this time, is that despite my upbringing I feel more of a longing for my ancestral roots. In my heart I will always be an Englishman, a Scotsman even. I have never, in my life, felt like a South African.
I may be born of this country, but I’m THE most unpatriotic person you will ever know. Given half a chance, I would live somewhere else. No offence though to the South Africans. This is purely how feel. And this country? I don’t feel it.