South Africa – Afrikaans

Western Cape province, South Africa

Afrikaans is one of the official languages of South Africa.
Afrikaans was derived from Dutch spoken by Dutch settlers in the period of Dutch colonization of South Africa. The majority of words of Afrikaans are of Dutch origin, however you can find there some words from other languages as well. Sometimes, the language is called as “African Dutch”.

I was asking a few people from South Africa about understanding Dutch and similarities between Dutch and Afrikaans – so the answers weren’t so clear; I think, with small problems, people speaking Dutch and Afrikaans can understand each others.

South Africa – AIDS

South Africa

Many years ago, a friend told me a story about South Africa, that was hard to believe in. To make it short, it was about men raping babies and small children (virgins) to be cured for AIDS or to prevent from getting AIDS. It sounds like a horror, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this kind of sexual violence is quite common, because many people have these false beliefs about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention. I feel speechless how horrible it is… And, it actually spreads the disease even more…

HIV and AIDS are huge problems in South Africa. And sadly, there are probably more people with HIV and AIDS in South Africa than in any other country in the world.

South Africa – Diamonds

Western Cape province, South Africa

The mining sector is very important in South Africa. Diamonds and gold made South Africa a rich country. However, everything has its own price…

I’ll quote this short text from Wikipedia and leave it without a comment:
“The mining and distribution of natural diamonds are subjects of frequent controversy such as concerns over the sale of blood diamonds or conflict diamonds by African paramilitary groups. The diamond supply chain is controlled by a limited number of powerful businesses, and is also highly concentrated in a small number of locations around the world.”

If you haven’t watched it yet, I can recommend here a movie from 2006 – Blood Diamond.

South Africa – Nelson Mandela

Western Cape province, South Africa

I wanted to write a few words about Nelson Mandela, because he was a very important person (“a hero”) in a recent history of South Africa. However, it’s quite a difficult task, so I’ll just mention some facts.

-Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a first black President of South Africa.
(Doesn’t it sound strange in an African country?)
-He was a president from 1994 to 1999.
-Mandela was against apartheid.
-He spent 27 years in prison!
-Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
-He died in 2013.

p.s. As you may realized, I put a “random” picture when I don’t have any appropriate one. Hopefully, you don’t mind it! (On the other hand, sometimes I have something particular in mind, e.g., “orange” animal in a post about Dutch Colonization or here a lighthouse while thinking about “bright” future, etc.)

South Africa – Apartheid

Western Cape province, South Africa

Apartheid is defined as a racial segregation and discrimination that lasted in South Africa between 1948 and 1991. However the racial segregation in South Africa has much longer history, and even these days is not completely gone…

“The white minority controlled the much larger black majority.” – Is it already the past or still the current situation?

South Africa – Poor and Rich

South Africa

As a tourists in South Africa, you may have an impression, that’s a rich and modern country with many extremely poor people.

A few facts:
-An unemployment rate is very high and many South Africans live on less than 1 USD a day.
-There are many immigrants from poorer neighboring countries who came to South Africa hoping to improve their situation, but usually they are as poor as they were before leaving their own countries.
-The material status, is unfortunately often connected with the skin color.

South Africa – British Colonization

South Africa

More or less after the period of Dutch colonization, South Africa was colonized by the British Empire (during that time, there were a few years of Dutch occupation).
That period also influenced the language of South Africa, so these days, English is one of the official languages. The South African English sounds a bit like English from New Zealand, so it’s completely different from e.g., English from India.

South Africa – Dutch Colonization

South Africa

In the ~17th century, South Africa was a Dutch colony. It was quite a short period in the history of South Africa.
However, it’s not forgotten from at least two main reasons:
-Many places in South Africa have names of Dutch origin.
-One of the official languages of South Africa (called Afrikaans) was derived from Dutch (more about it on 11th of July 2017).