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Thread: Perception of Afrikaners and emigration

  1. #1 Perception of Afrikaners and emigration 
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    For those who don't know, I am a 35 year old, white Afrikaner living in South Africa.

    At 35 years of age, I have not travelled much and only worked in Swaziland for 6 months about 16 years back. I live more or less smack bang in the middle of South Africa in a smallish town of 211 000 people. Seeing foreign nationals is an absolute rarity. I have a high school education and managerial experience.

    My interaction with the people on this forum has been an incredible experience for me, as it has exposed me to hugely varied personalities and cultures that I would not have had the opportunity to experience in other ways. To be very candid, my personal life is very menial and some of my most defining traits have close to zero means of expression in my daily life. I am the only atheist I know, as well as the only person I know with an interest in science.

    While South Africa is industrialised and developed in many ways, it is still a very long way away from Europe, Australia, North America, etc. We have some of the worst AIDS and crime statistics in the world with no sign of it improving.

    My wish is to experience first world living and cultures first hand and I would love to either live and work for a while oversees or even emigrate. At the moment I am considering Belgium/Netherlands, New Zealand, British Isles or Canada. I don't currently have the means to do so, but would seriously consider it if the possibility arose in the future. While my accident was minor, it has gotten me thinking more and more about what I want out of life. What I am doing now is not going to cut it.


    One thing I am curious about though is how Afrikaner people are viewed across the world. South Africa has the dark legacy of apartheid, which was perpetrated by many Afrikaners, among others. Apartheid ended almost 20 years ago now and I was still a kid when that happened. For instance, people don't still regard Germans with suspicion because of WWII, do they? There have been a few depictions of Afrikaners in movies and very few of them have been flattering.



    So what I would like to know is how the members of this forum regard Afrikaners. I invite you to be as candid as you like. I am being serious with this. I can understand perfectly well that most people will not be familiar with current Afrikaans culture or even a vague history of South Africa and that they might be labouring under misconceptions. This is of course perfectly normal and it is not something I can or will hold against anyone, even if the perception is extremely negative. This is not about my cultural pride (of which I don't have as much as one might think), this is simply a fact finding exercise. So please feel free to speak your mind, even if it is only your impressions about me.


    Thanks for reading.


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  3. #2  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    My perspective isn't a very educated one. I have limited knowledge of South Africa other than the obligatory study of apartheid. I had a friend in high school from South Africa named Jeddah. He spoke Afrikaans, which I always thought was pretty cool.

    I don't hold the mistakes of a nation's past against its people without getting to know them. I don't associate Germans with the Nazi regime or South Africans with apartheid for the same reasons I hope people don't associate me, as an American, with obesity, war mongering, or slavery.


    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  4. #3  
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    Basically what Flick said. Also, I think people here generally hold South Africa in a higher light than most other African countries.

    I would gladly welcome you to the States (even though it doesn't seem you're very interested in us at the moment!)
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  5. #4  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    I also have limited knowledge of South Africa, but you would be a welcome friend to the USA. I think it's exciting, this new journey you're about to embark on. I certainly can't speak on behalf of the US, but I'm not under any impression that South Afrikaners are thought of in a negative light.
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  6. #5  
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    Go back a few generations and we are all decedent from immigrants.
    When i was at SIU one of our house mates was Afrikaner, tall fellow reddish blond hair, curious accent so I asked him where he was from.
    It seems that current immigration into the usa is easier if you already have a job lined up. A few years ago, this was true of Australia also.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    The Yukon has a fairly diverse population, mostly white of which there is a strong French representation, a significant percentage of First Nations people (Canadian Aboriginals, 13 distinct tribes in Yukon if my memory serves) and an increasing number of immigrants of which the most visible in the service industries would be from the Philippines and South America. A quick search for census information shows that we do have a small but growing population of immigrants from Africa, mostly from Southern and East Africa.

    You may find the information at this link to be of interest, Kalster.

    National Household Survey (NHS) Profile, 2011
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  8. #7  
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    If 200,000+ is "smallish," I wonder what you'd consider my town of ~10,000 as! And 10,000 is relatively big around here!
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  9. #8  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    If 200,000+ is "smallish," I wonder what you'd consider my town of ~10,000 as! And 10,000 is relatively big around here!
    My family lived for several months one winter and spring at a hunting camp, the nearest town 90 miles away by air and no road access. I spent most of my teenage years in a town of 350 people, Atlin. B.C. which is 113 miles southeast of Whitehorse.

    Just to give Kalster some idea of the lack of population density in Northern, B.C. and Southern Yukon.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    If 200,000+ is "smallish," I wonder what you'd consider my town of ~10,000 as! And 10,000 is relatively big around here!
    My family lived for several months one winter and spring at a hunting camp, the nearest town 90 miles away by air and no road access. I spent most of my teenage years in a town of 350 people, Atlin. B.C. which is 113 miles southeast of Whitehorse.

    Just to give Kalster some idea of the lack of population density in Northern, B.C. and Southern Yukon.
    Oh my, I'm not sure I could handle that. I would imagine it is frequently sub-zero(F) there, too. How do you fare in cold weather, Kalster? Actually, given your OP, you've probably never experienced anything under even 40 degrees Fahrenheit to figure out!
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  11. #10  
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    New Zealand is stunning, as is Canada. Easy lifestyle and way of looking at things. Very similar to Australia in that sense.

    My experience with South Africans is that their personality and way of looking at life is very similar to Australians, only with a dodgy accent. I kid of course. Most I have met have been very friendly. The only exception has probably been my cousin's soon to be ex wife and her family, who are really racist and just, well, tools. Which is not because they are South Africans, but because they are racist tools. Every single one I have met aside from them have been great.

    Where I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland (Australia), there is a very large contingent of South Africans, so going to the local supermarket, fruit and veg shop and butcher, we always hear the accent around us. It's a sort of semi horse and cow country area, in the Gold Coast hinterland (we form the part of the base of a biggish hill we call Mount Tamborine), which is becoming more urbanised, which is the way things go at the moment. But there are enough South Africans who live here that they have opened up a small South African supermarket, where they sell a lot of dried meats and other imported South African foods and products. They do a roaring trade and are usually quite busy each time I've gone in there. The local supermarket also has a South African cuisine section too, because there is such a large group of South African migrants here.

    One thing I have noticed is that they are very touchy about any mention of the Apartheid regime or even current politics, which most of them escaped from when they migrated here. By their accent, many have been here for a very long time. Their concern is that the pendulum has swung so far the other way, that they feel their loved ones are being discriminated against. I have a cousin who lives in Cape Town and she classified as 'white', with many not realising her ancestry contained quite a bit of Africans, but she is very fair, with green eyes and brown hair, so when she married her South African husband during the apartheid era, her colouring passed her off as white. When she had their son, he was quite olive skinned, so she was concerned, but no one seemed to notice. Whenever we talk on Skype now, she often says that there is still a lot of discrimination and racism in South Africa, from both sides, which I suspect will probably continue for a few more generations. I guess because there are so many who still remember what it was like back then, distrust may still linger, which is a shame. She fears that it will swing so much that we could end up with a situation similar to Zimbabwe, where land was reclaimed.

    But she is desperate to migrate here and always has been. Her husband was never willing because his love of South Africa was everlasting for him. He unfortunately passed away recently and while she is grieving, I think she finds it too lonely now without him, so she may end up migrating to Australia to be with her family one day in the future.

    I think South Africa has to find its feet and find its place in the world. The level of poverty and the remnant of the apartheid era is probably a factor in the level of crime and in the AIDS epidemic. Poverty resulted in a lack of education for such a large portion of the population. Which is a tragedy that has no real end in sight. Trying to find that balance and essence of fairness after your very recent history is going to be a very painful process.

    Traveling to see the world and perhaps trying to find what you want to do is a great thing.

    In Australia at least, no one would care that you are an atheist or not. Our former Prime Minister is an atheist, and while some tried to kick up a fuss about it, people just shrugged and ignored it.
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  12. #11  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    I judge each person I meet on their own merits, and knowing where they come from is only of secondary interest. I wouldn't want you judge me by some of the things the US has done in the past or the present for that matter, and I give that same courtesy to others.

    I've often thought about where in the world I'd like to live if I moved out of the US. I decided it should be mostly English speaking and not in a mostly cold climate. I sort of like the idea of Australia but New Zealand has possibilities.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    If 200,000+ is "smallish," I wonder what you'd consider my town of ~10,000 as! And 10,000 is relatively big around here!
    My family lived for several months one winter and spring at a hunting camp, the nearest town 90 miles away by air and no road access. I spent most of my teenage years in a town of 350 people, Atlin. B.C. which is 113 miles southeast of Whitehorse.

    Just to give Kalster some idea of the lack of population density in Northern, B.C. and Southern Yukon.
    See I would love to live somewhere like that and to bring my children up in an area like that. And with snow!

    You are so lucky!
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  14. #13  
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    I am an Afrikaner but I have lived in Canada from a young age, so I have been assimilated by the Canadian culture. In my experience you won't get a lot of grief about the apartheid. From time to time I've gotten a little bit of grief, not a lot though. The people that give the grief are generally ignorant about South African history and the apartheid anyway. Discuss it with them in a cordial and informative way, and then they quickly see the error in their judgement. Most of the time people are just curious about what South Africa is like, and why you (and in my case my family) left.

    Surprisingly I've gotten more grief for being an Afrikaner from the Boer War than I ever have from Apartheid... But this was ignorance on the part of an educator, whom taught the class that the Boer War was about the Boers being slavers...

    Her assessment changed quickly when I introduced her to some choice books in my South African history collection. Oh the woes and throes of that one year I went to a Catholic school. Never Forget.
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  15. #14  
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    If you're serious about emigrating, Australia's fine. I presume much the same holds in New Zealand. Can't speak for other places.

    The one thing that many people find disconcerting about Australia is that we do have those wide open spaces you see on films and TV - but we are basically a nation of suburbanites concentrated in quite large cities. Over 16 million of our 23 million people live in just 10 cities, almost 5 million in Sydney alone. Apart from the 5 mainland capitals with populations over a million, there are only a dozen cities with populations over 100000.

    I remember my mum trying to help out a bewildered South African woman in the supermarket. She could not believe the range of types of bread and of milk and the multitudes of brands offering almost identical products. She was almost in tears just trying to select a few basic groceries. Corner shops are no longer a reality in many places - the pretty large supermarket is often the only place to shop.

    As for attitudes. In Australia, don't know about New Zealand, you're probably more likely to find a few Aussies with distinctly not-nice attitudes to our Sudanese-Nigerian-Somali refugee groups than with negative ideas about white South Africans.
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  16. #15  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    having lived and worked in Vanderbijlpark in the 1980s, i can see where you're coming from

    during that time i got on well with the mostly white workforce in Iscor, black people at the time being totally absent from the middle management echelons, and because of segregation never got to know any black people on a social basis - which i assume is a damn shame
    however, even though i got on with afrikaners ok, you always got the impression that somehow their mind worked in a different fashion from mine, like i was thinking north-south and their mind went east-west
    e.g. at one point i got nearly knocked off my bike by a car turning left in front of me - when he stopped i thought it was to apologise for nearly killing me, but no, his response was "vloek jy vir my ?" (were you swearing at me ?)
    at another time one of the technician i shared an office with asked me in casual conversation what church i went to - when i replied "i don't" he looked at me like i'd just sprouted horns
    i mean, ehre was something he just couldn't get his head around, someone who he knew from personal experience to be a normal human being, and that same person didn't go to church ? go figure !

    but yes, the cultural isolation (which i assume may never have completely gone away, even after apartheid had gone) was one of the reasons why i left the country : my children were ˝ and 2˝ years old at the time and i wanted them to have a broader experience of the wider world than just South Africa, beautiful country though it may be

    (P.S. both my children still treasure their springbok rugby shirts, and my daughter has already been back for a holiday, and neither of them feel embarassed for having been born there + no-one has given them grief for it either, more like "oh, you worn born in South Africa ? how interesting!")
    Last edited by marnixR; November 30th, 2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: P.S. added
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  17. #16  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    I think the change in South Africa at the end of apartheid was one of the most extraordinary things to have happened in my lifetime.

    In the 1980s there was a satirical TV show in the UK which had a popular song called "I've Never Met a Nice South African", which captured many people's attitude to the country. However, since then attitudes have changed completely. I don't think there are any negative feelings about South Africa or Afrikaners as a whole any more.

    If you have (or can make) the opportunity to live and work abroad for a while - do it! I have been lucky enough to spend some time working in Asia and America and it was a fantastic experience.
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  18. #17  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    at another time one of the technician i shared an office with asked me in casual conversation what church i went to - when i replied "i don't" he looked at me like i'd just sprouted horns
    I had a similar experience in Italy.
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    I think you would be welcomed with open arms just about anywhere in the US. Atheism is not an issue. I think the image of the US as a nation of bible thumpers, which one encounters here on occasion, is vastly exaggerated. For some reason I've never encountered anybody from South Africa. Emigrants from there must be headed somewhere else mostly.

    You have nothing to be ashamed of. No need to apologize to anybody for anything.

    What accident?
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What accident?
    I believe he was referring to post #471 in this thread.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    at another time one of the technician i shared an office with asked me in casual conversation what church i went to - when i replied "i don't" he looked at me like i'd just sprouted horns
    I had a similar experience in Italy.
    In my entire life I've met a few atheist but I've never known any as friends or people I could just even talk with until I found this forum. Normally I don't even bring the subject up as it often leads to a place I don't want to be in. Some of you remember inow, he was the first person ever to say things about religion that matched my feelings on the subject so closely I could hardly believe it was someone else talking. What a refreshing experience that was.
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  22. #21  
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    My knowledge of South Africa, it's history, people and culture is very lacking and limited almost entirely to a couple of movies, a sci-fi tv series and the world cup & news coverage.
    I would imagine that life is hard, it doesn't seem a place where someone would feel secure letting their guard down and as such I percieve South Africans as being very tough, even more so I guess for white South Africans.

    Living in such an enviroment of extreme poverty & high crime doesn't suggest for the most comfortable or easy lifestyle, yet during the world cup coverage the whole country seemed to come together in unison for one long celebration, certainly this presented a welcoming atmosphere for all the football fans. Whilst it seems hard to ignore some of the problems being highlighted many of the tv reports also went to great lengths to show just how beautiful many parts of the country are, especially some of the coastal areas, which I rather liked.

    It seems a place of many contrasts, on the one hand so many people living together in slums of little more than tin huts whilst other people live in elegant villas with swimming pools and servants.

    The political history of apartheid seems really in all fairness just that, history, it's not really something that I would think to much about when contemplating South Africa, perhaps maybe wondering how anyone could really follow Nelson Mandela, surely a very hard act to follow given his almost legendary status. Possibly slighly suprised that Jacob Zuma is portrayed on British television as not being very popular. Probably also very relieved that the ANC haven't taken South Africa in the same direction as Mugabe's Zimbabwe, which is pretty much always portrayed on television here as a near hell on Earth of extreme racism and hatred against white people. By contrast South Africa usually is very rarely, if at all, shown in a negative light.

    I really wouldn't have thought in general that english speaking Afrikaners would be treated or thought of any different than say Americans, Australians or Canadians here in the UK, no actually probably more like New Zealanders, with many viewing them as being very similar to themselves but being unaware of their history. Curiosity more than anything would probably the general responce.

    Modern day Britain is now so diverse in it's range of nationalities and cultures that anyone willing to make an effort to integrate, and most certainly anyone English speaking could find a place and be accepted into our society.

    What I would also say though is that for anyone unfamiliar with South Africans and who's only experience has been from conversing with you then they will have gained a very possitive perception, certaintly I would imagine most people would be more than willing to help you in any way they can when you have decided in which direction your future lies.
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  23. #22  
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    Thanks for all the replies guys! There have been so many, I'm going to reply to them in a few posts.

    Flick, mat5592, Bad Robot, Sculptor and wegs, thanks a lot for that! That is good to hear.

    scheherazade: I put Canada up there, because of its good reputation in various areas. It is also a huge place with some spectacular nature areas. I will probably not fare that well in the weather though. Here when it drops to single digits below 0 Celsius, we all freeze our bottoms off (to answer you question as well mat5592)! I can probably get used to it if I needed to, like if I got an opportunity to live and work there. I would love to go experience some nature there. And yes, 200k isn't really smallish, but the town itself doesn't cover much area. You can get from anywhere in my town to anywhere else in less than 15 minutes.

    Tranquille: Yep, unfortunately there are many Afrikaner tools around, just as with any demographic. South Africa indeed has a very long way to go yet. The ANC government that took over are doing a poor job at the moment, but the thing is that even though it has been 20 years, many black people still don't have must trust for whites, so even though they are sometimes deeply unhappy with the current government, they'd sooner starve and poop in the streets than vote another party they might see as white dominated back into power, who they fear would bring back apartheid. Also, the thing about deep seated bigotry and xenophobia, is you can't simply turn it off. Most of the adults that were around during the apartheid years still have that same dark core they drag around with themselves. But, there are flickers of light that I see every so often that makes me believe that one day we can look at each other as fellow South Africans, instead of people of different colours or creeds. There is hope, but not in the short or even medium term I fear.


    stander-j: I can imagine and yes, I don't enjoy it when people condemn you based on incomplete or erroneous facts. The British put our women and children in concentration camps for goodness sake. I guess each country has atrocities they feel ashamed about.


    adelady: I would love to see those open spaces and tour the country a bit. The thing about Australia is I am not a fan of spiders and such, not a bit and you guys have some doozies. New Zealand has a lot going for it as well, without those critters to worry about.

    strange: Indeed, the transition Nelson Mandela was able to preside over was amazing. Here was a man who could have had anything he wanted when he came out, but he wanted peace among ALL South Africans. When we won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and Mandela wore the number 6 jersey and lofted the cup, it must have been my proudest moment as a South African. That man has given us so much, including opening the world's hearts and minds towards my country. Unfortunately each successive president has gotten progressively worse and the government has been unravelling in various ways over the years.
    I really do want to broaden my horizons! The British Isles has a very strong attraction for me too. I love British humour, culture and history.

    Marnix: Yes, I can't stand people like that. The best way to describe them is profoundly ignorant and indoctrinated. But with each successive generation things are gradually getting better and it is very heartening to see.
    The reason I am seriously considering The Netherlands or Belgium is that they are just so much more liberal and philosophically advanced than I am used to. I have also always only considered going to English speaking countries, but because Afrikaans and especially the south of Holland/North of Belgium are so mutually intelligible, I think I should probably be able to learn Dutch in a fairly short amount of time. They have a long, rich history and I would never tire of visiting all the interesting places and sites that would be on offer. From there I would also be able to travel relatively easily all over Europe if the fancy struck me.

    Harold: I am sure that is true. For all it's faults (and no place is perfect), the US is a huge place with a large range of subcultures and some spectacular and varied natural wonders. I think I could easily spend a year or more just touring all over the US and experiencing all kinds of different attractions and people. Thanks. I am not really ashamed for myself though. I am not guilty of these things as you know, but I do feel shame for the dark history that some (a lot) of "my people" are guilty of. As for the accident; I had a relatively minor accident about a month (?) ago where a minibus taxi slammed into my driver side at a T intersection. I was relatively unhurt (LOTS of bruises, some stitches and lacerations and muscle pain) and the LDV I was driving was written off, but I am mostly back to normal.

    Edit: And Ascended: Pretty much covered a lot of that above. Yeah, the Soccer (football ) World Cup was quite an event. It is lovely to see people brought together by sport. It gives you hope that peoples differences and perception are indeed capable of being rewritten, if only slowly.

    To be sure, any place I might visit would bring with it a huge culture shock, especially since I have been exposed to so little, but it would be a thrilling experience and I'd be curious to see how quickly I could adapt to the environment. I want to live how people should live, with real freedom and without a constant fear of being murdered or robbed and being able to make a decent living and that is what I want for my possible children as well far, far in the future. A lot of water has to run into the see first though, but hopefully in a few years I'd be able to follow that dream.
    Last edited by KALSTER; November 30th, 2013 at 07:28 PM.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  24. #23  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    For those who don't know, I am a 35 year old, white Afrikaner living in South Africa.
    BTW, I wasn't much younger than you when I went back to university, made a career change and ended up working all round the world (after having been almost no where).
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Be able to look out your door and see kangaroos
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    The reason I am seriously considering The Netherlands or Belgium is that they are just so much more liberal and philosophically advanced than I am used to. I have also always only considered going to English speaking countries, but because Afrikaans and especially the south of Holland/North of Belgium are so mutually intelligible, I think I should probably be able to learn Dutch in a fairly short amount of time. They have a long, rich history and I would never tire of visiting all the interesting places and sites that would be on offer. From there I would also be able to travel relatively easily all over Europe if the fancy struck me.
    just one word of warning about the weather : i've seen many south africans become slightly depressed on the rare occasions when the sun didn't show for more than 3 or 4 days
    so if you're one of those sun-loving people, maybe australia might be a better bet than belgium, holland or the UK, where the weather might be too grey and close for too long
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    South Africans in Texas
    http://texaspotjie.com/


    Having lived in the Dallas/Fortworth area of Texas for 8 years, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The weather is nasty, the bug population is nasty, the traffic is about as bad as it gets and the politics is ruled by the conservative baptist. I could go on, but would rather not.
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  29. #28  
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    My knowledge of South Africa and its inhabitants is so limited, that any opinion except "I have no perception of Afrikaners at all" could be as wrong as the threads ending up in the Trash Can. Yet, you seem to be under the impression that my opinion is worth something, so I would like to comment on something you have replied to member marnixR:

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    The reason I am seriously considering The Netherlands or Belgium is that they are just so much more liberal and philosophically advanced than I am used to. I have also always only considered going to English speaking countries, but because Afrikaans and especially the south of Holland/North of Belgium are so mutually intelligible, I think I should probably be able to learn Dutch in a fairly short amount of time. They have a long, rich history and I would never tire of visiting all the interesting places and sites that would be on offer. From there I would also be able to travel relatively easily all over Europe if the fancy struck me.

    It is true that Belgium is a liberal country, as confirmed by our Constitution. It is also true that the education standards are quite high.
    Due to the fact that Belgium is an industrious nation, many people have a basic understanding of the English language. You should not have any trouble with expressing yourself in the English language and fear for not being understood by the locals. However, learning Dutch is recommendable and should, due to the similarity with Afrikaans, not be a problem.

    As I see it, you are most welcome in our tiny nation.


    PS: The northern part of Belgium, Flanders, is the Dutch-speaking region and is more developed and richer than the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium, Wallonia. Keep in mind that learning Dutch does not guarantee the ability to communicate with every Belgian citizen.
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; February 18th, 2014 at 03:43 PM.
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    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Keep in mind that learning Dutch does not guarantee the ability to communicate with every Belgian citizen.[/I][/COLOR]
    indeed there are 4 main dialects in flanders, west-flemish, east-flemish, antwerp, and limburgh, some of which are harder than others to be understood, even by a native dutch-speaker (being from bruges i have problems following a conversation between 2 people from limburgh)
    still, since dutch is the official lingo, that shouldn't matter too much
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  31. #30  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Keep in mind that learning Dutch does not guarantee the ability to communicate with every Belgian citizen.[/I][/COLOR]
    indeed there are 4 main dialects in flanders, west-flemish, east-flemish, antwerp, and limburgh, some of which are harder than others to be understood, even by a native dutch-speaker (being from bruges i have problems following a conversation between 2 people from limburgh)
    still, since dutch is the official lingo, that shouldn't matter too much

    I was actually referring to the fact that Belgium has three official languages, which are dominant in separate regions. E.g. knowing Dutch is not exactly useful in e.g. Wallonia. However, I have not thought about the problem of dialects. He might run into problems when trying to understand the different dialects (although I do not understand much of the dialects either).
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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