Happy Heritage Day

I am fascinated by the cultural differences that exist in this great country of ours. When I’m not busy being fascinated, it’s all I can do not to pack a bag, grab my passport and head for the nearest airport.

Black people have a rich culture that includes ancestor worship, traditional healing, lobola, ritual slaughter (cows, sheep, taxi drivers etc) and settling tribal disputes with machete fights at dawn.

White people have a culture that is rooted in sport, beer, fear, litigation and emigration.

Although I am always careful not to stereotype anyone, I think it is important to point out that industrial action is also an integral part of black culture.

When white people sing and dance, you can be fairly sure they’re in high spirits and celebrating something or other – more often than not, their good fortune at having been born into the Caucasian race.

When black people sing and dance, there is no such certainty. What looks like a rollicking street party frequently turns out to be angry mobs of striking workers.

When whiteys feel oppressed, they suffer in silence. Well, those who aren’t rich enough to move to Perth or stupid enough to join Afriforum suffer in silence. Sometimes, one will come home from work, quietly murder his family and then blow his brains out. Generally, though, they don’t do much more than mope around the braai exchanging racial slurs through mouthfuls of brandy and boerewors.

Darkies, on the other hand, are always ready with a song and dance at the first sign of exploitation. This is where the confusion sets in. To the untrained eye, it appears that the brethren are indulging in a bit of the old merriment, what with the ululating and leaping about. I have seen tourists join in under the impression that they have stumbled across some sort of primitive ethnic festival. Whipping out their cameras, they flail their little white arms and legs, roll their eyes and shout happy gibberish in the hope that it passes for Swahili.

Here are some other things that make South Africa special.

We have a fascinating array of indigenous fauna, all of which go well with one or other of our many endemic sauces.

Our flora, too, is not to be sneezed at. Unless, of course, you suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, in which case you have no business living here.

Our national flower, the king protea, was recently replaced by the cannabis sativa.

Our national bird is the blue crane, a graceful creature that specialises in pinning people to the ground and pecking their eyes out. Canada’s national bird is the Common Loon. It reminds me of Steve Hofmeyr.

The motto on our coat of arms isǃke e: ǀxarra ǁke Nobody outside of the /Xam tribe knows what it means. Most South Africans think it’s a hyperlink.

When it comes to the national animal, we have the springbok. France has some sort of chicken. Our rugby team is also called the Springboks. The French once accused us of playing like animals. This made us feel tremendously proud.

Our national fish is the galjoen. Like most hard-drinking South Africans, the galjoen is regarded as a creature that will fight to the death. Cooked over an open fire, however, galjoen tastes a lot better than the national drunk. Decolonised galjoen prefer to call themselves black bream.

4 thoughts on “Happy Heritage Day

  1. Bonnita Davidtsz says:

    Spot on as usual!! And I don’t feel at home anywhere … How come you’re not available on Sunday Tribune anymore Ben?

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      The Sunday Tribune let me go. Released me back into the wild.

      1. Bonnita Lynette Davidtz says:

        Well, welcome home … At least you won’t have to do the bidding of a puppet master any longer. I know you don’t need inspiration, but do have a squizz at the Hazyview water crisis. Incidentally would like to subscribe to your post, but don’t want to use a credit card. Do you have another facility?



        1. Ben Trovato says:

          You’re getting mixed up between subscribing and contributing.There’s no cost involved in subscribing to my site.

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