Wednesday, June 16, 2010

UNITY IN DIVERSITY: SOUTH AFRICA: JUNE 16TH 2010

GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
MAXMOM here...
IT'S "YOUTH DAY" here in South Africa!!!

We are amidst the festivities of the
SOCCER WORLD CUP
as well as our own initiative...

"UNITY IN DIVERSITY!!!"

Today is a special day for our nation.  It is a public holiday here today as we celebrate
YOUTH DAY.

Not only this, but our own team BAFANA BAFANA are playing their match against URUGUAY this evening.

Over the past week, I have honoured 28 of the 32 countries involved in the SOCCER WORLD CUP. I have tried to encourage my blogging friends to do the same. Thank you to all those bloggers who have done this. It is becoming an awesome experience.
Today however I would very much like to dedicate this blogpost to my own beautiful country...
SOUTH AFRICA!!!

---xXx---
This is a day that many people will remember and I am one of those people.
I remember this day well! ...


It was a day that was to make me realise that...
 the lives of others have a large influence on my own.

34 years ago, I was sitting in a classroom of 30 white children about to write my final schooling exams. We were diligently paying attention to our schoolwork and enjoying the benefits of a good education when it was announced that there were important things happening in our country.

Whilst I was sitting in that modern classroom, my early childhood friends were stranded on a struggling farm, poverty stricken and illiterate. They had to scrape together morsels of food off the land and had to jump to orders of the farmers. Our differences were vast and ingrained.

That day, June 16, 1976, marked the “Soweto Uprising”. It was a time when thousands of black school children downed their own books and took to the streets to demand an education in their own language. That day turned into bloodshed as the police opened fire on innocent and vulnerable children. Some lost their lives in the process as did many others in similar struggles. The world that I had known was not an inclusive world. My realities were about to flood in.

The issues of that day were more than met the eye because they revealed the dire inequalities of the people of our country. I was a young 17yr old at the time and on the brink of flight into my own adulthood. It was the first time in my life that I truly realised that the lives of others affect me significantly.

Today I am a proud South African. Over the 34 years I have learned the ethos of our nation: To embrace the diversity of the rainbow people of this nation and to open my heart to other ways of thinking.

I can eat at pristine dinner tables but feel equally at home sitting around a rustic fire and sharing the contents of a three-legged pot.

I can dress up in an evening gown and dance to refined music but I can also move to the drum beats of African rhythm.

I can eat the foods of my own taste but allow others to enjoy their choices.

I can enjoy the vast open fields that Africa has to offer but I can also take on the pace of city life.

I have learned to love all people, knowing that by our differences I can attain greater understanding and wisdom.

I’ve learned not to judge too soon, but to search for meaning and intention behind the things that people do.

I’ve learned too that words are important but need to be taken from the perspective of those who utter them.

I’ve learned to appreciate the subtleties of classical music but can appreciate the call for unity in the traditional vuvuzela

It is only through the evolution of these past 34 years in South Africa that I’ve truly understood the concept of freedom.

I am an African!

It is this realisation that allows me to drive the blogging initiative of..

UNITY IN DIVERSITY!

Now...as the world descends upon our country and enjoys what it has to offer, I feel the old uneasiness of the past...the power of the judgement of others. Yes, vuvuzelas are noisy instruments but we need to look beyond them to the motivation behind them.
They originate from a call to unity in those dark years of the past.  In those years, they became symbolic of this need to unify...and that is the celebration of vuvuzelas that you are witnessing on televisions screens across the world.

 I wonder now...how can I convey to others what I have learned over the turbulent times of the past. Is it not possible to embrace our international differences too? The sounds of the vuvuzela might be irritating so some folk (indeed I also struggle with them sometimes) but they are intrinsic to the euphoric vibrancy of this country. It's not only South Africans who are blowing them at the moment either...suppporters from across the world have embraced this unity too. 

---xXx---
“Out of the vast blue skies and the deep seas, over distant mountains where cliffs echo the sounds of the call to come together and stand in unity...
God bless Africa! ”
 (The essence of our national anthem)

I welcome you, my guest, to my unique and beautiful country. Learn from us as we are learning from you.

SOUTH AFRICA!!!

---xXx---

I want to encourage you to go and visit two of my blogging friends...
They have put up blogposts which epitomise the spirit of my own country.
Thank you so,so much!
To all the participants of our UNITY AND DIVERSITY initiative...

I AM PROUD TO CALL YOU MY FRIENDS!!!
Sending lotsaluv to you all
GO BAFANA BAFANA!

23 comments:

Maggie Mae said...

Great Post! Happy Youth Day!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Jake of Florida said...

Caryl,

The world needs people like you everywhere to fulfill the dream of true unity in diversity. I remember those days too -- although from very far away and that's why the events of today are so thrilling.

As you say: Ubuntu.

Thank you for such a beautiful expression of your thoughts and feelings.

"Lord bless Africa!"

Your canine bafana bafana

Heather and Ellie said...

Discriminating against race has come a long way...I am glad most countries have figured out how to give people equal opportunities despite the color of their skin. I don't know how it is in SA, but America is doing really well with that considering how bad it was years ago!

I'm really really hoping and praying that Bafana Bafana will cream Uruguay!!

Go Bafana Bafana! You can do it!

Junior and Orion said...

What a wonderful post. We are constantly inspired and awed by you!

Kira The BeaWootiful said...

Wow! what a great post. sharing your life as you do, hopefully will inspire others to be as warm, loving and accepting as you are.
~God bless us all~
-Kira The BeaWootiful's Mom

Ms. ~K said...

C, Thank you for shring this very emotional memory...SA has much to be proud of!
Hugs,
~K

Asta said...

Caryl

We awe so lucky to have met you. You awe lucky to live in such a magnificent countwy and to have leawned such impawtant lessons..i wish the west of the wowld would leawn to love unity in divewsity.
I hope all of you awe staying wawm. I'm sowwy i haven't witten, mommi had hew dental suwgewy and has been out of it the last few days
go bafana bafana!
smoochie kisses
ASTA

Mrs. JP said...

Hello to our friends in South Africa!! I must confess my naivete to current world events. My husband is a great keeper of facts of the goings on beyond my own little perimeter here in the holler. He spoon feeds me the harsh things, I think, because our son is in a very harsh place serving our country. Therefore, I am so thankful for your perspective and truth. I too, am comfortable with different people and appreciate them for who they are not a box I'd like to put them in. God loves us all and wants me to love as He does.
I love turning on this soccer meet because I feel it brings me closer to you, my new found friend. I love the buzz of the stadium. BAFANA BAFANA

Jacqueline said...

Happy Youth Day!...A wonderful, loving post, Caryl...I totally agree with you and feel people are too judgmental; I believe an open mind and open heart will always lead you where you need to be...There are evil people in this world, but generally, I believe people are good; sometimes we all make bad choices, but those should always be forgiven in light of a kind heart/good intentions/stupid mistakes...The character of a person is all that really matters, not their race, sexuality or finanacial position, etc=why do people feel the need to judge these issues?...Our differences make life interesting and fun; we should always look to embrace the positive, good traits of others...Hugs my sweet, lovely friend.

Jacqueline said...

Why didn't I mention I think animals are the ultimate good judge of character?!...And the way people treat animals says so much about their character to me!...Kiss your beautiful babies for me!

Scout 'n Freyja said...

As you called to mind the horrid events that took place in your youth it brought me back to a time here in the US when black children walked up the steps of a high school - all white - to call attention to segregation in our southern states. I was too young at the time to appreciate the significance of their act and their courage. However, as the years passed and the call for the end of segregation in the south grew loud and unified, the importance of the issue penetrated my consciousness.

You remember Soweto. I remember Selma, Alabama. Truly, Unity in Diversity binds us all together as one, common people. Our affection for each other binds us together as one, common family - the family of man.

TODAY I am South African. TODAY, I cheer for BAFANA BAFANA. TODAY we are one.

Marg said...

That was a beautiful post from a very special person. If only we had more people that felt like you do. I have to agree with Jacqueline about how animals are terrific judges of character.
I heard about the request to stop the horns or whatever they are called and I think that would ruin the atmosphere of the games. I don't think I have ever watched a soccer game without them.
I sure hope Africa wins today and every day. I watched two games last week end and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have limited TV so it is hard to watch many games.
Happy Youth day to everyone. Love the saying, Unity in diversity.
Thanks for that great post.

houndstooth said...

I always admire your way with words and your ability to express yourself so beautifully! Very well spoken!

Benny and Lily said...

Yea, Happee Youth Day and good luck to your team
Benny & Lily

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Another pawesome post related to diversity -

Thanks for sharing -

As was the case when MaxDog hosted all of the blogging visitors, I'm moved to the parallels between our countries yet so many wouldn't see it (or couldn't see it more appropriately) -

Sheila and Bob said...

Wonderful post, we are all God's children living on one planet. Respect for each others cultures and traditions would go such a long way in wiping out prejudice and hate.



Sheila & Bob

Piappies World said...

Happy Youth Day, MaxMom!

We wish you luck with the game tonight. We are also proud to be your friends!

-Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & the Piappies

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That is a wonderful and beautiful post! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

sprinkles said...

Wonderful post!

Tessa the Maltese said...

Happy Youth Day!...

As ALWAYS a BEAUTIFUL post!!!

Hugs, Tessa

3 doxies said...

Oh Caryl,
That was just beautiful. I have never really had the opportunity to learn much about South Africa. You are such a brilliant writer and you can always make me feel like I am truely there beside you.
Allison...Puddles mum

Samantha said...

Wonderful to have a national holiday called "Youth Day." I can't tell you how beautifully you articulate your thoughts about such important and emotional events. I remember those days - reading about them in the newspapers and worrying. Especially when we had so much going on here in our own "rainbow" country. Bafana Bafana tonight!
Hugs oxxoxoxo
Sammie and Mom

the booker man said...

maxmom,
happy youth day, and may God bless south africa, the rainbow nation!

the booker man and asa's mama