Why I love South Africa – a foreigner’s view
Speaking to my German friend who has travelled the world and lived in South Africa for the last ten years, my list of reasons why I love South Africa, broadened.
Stressing that this is a generalised view, politics and problems aside, here are the reasons why he wants to stay…
First World Blues
The high standards, (read highly regulated standards) that are on the increase in first world countries, have somehow skipped a ring on the ladder of evolvement. With the achievement of a close-to-perfect infrastructure, material welfare, high standards of education and medical care, and all else that goes with the territory, advance has taken its toll and a subtle sense of something dark runs beneath luxury and comfort…
A nagging sense of discontent…
Despite our problems and our slow progress, we as South Africans have managed to hold on to certain values, and still can say: “This is why I love South Africa.”
It gives one hope for the future.
South Africans smile often, are humble, welcoming and open, and do not regard ‘others’ with suspicion. We show a great deal of tolerance for those who do not speak our language, (think of the French), and have an intuitive skill to listen.
Although 20 years down the line of democracy (with so many important issues still not addressed), South Africans have honed the skill of patience and optimism, (do not confuse apathy with personal contentment), and we have somehow kept our profound sense of inner dignity despite the hardships of life.
Have you ever noticed the little jiggle and dance of our black people walking down the road?
Our architecture heritage is a beacon of South African’s history and people, and thankfully our building regulations allow for a certain freedom and expressive creativity.
Have you walked the streets of Bo-Kaap or visited a township?
The Great Healer
“South Africa has made me a better person,” he finally said.
With so many different cultures together we are given the opportunity to learn how to live with each other. In this struggle to make things better we’ve become better people, a people with a collective face of unrefined beauty and innocence.
The more reason why I love South Africa!