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Smart Americans

23 November 2010, 09:00  - Matthews
I studied and lived in England for four years then America also for four years.
 
What the South African student in California wrote is partially true. There are indeed many ignorant Americans who think the strangest and most creative things about South Africa.
 
What she fails to acknowledge, however, is the second truth. There are many Americans who know more and appreciate our culture and country than many of us.

There are many of us who know little of our history, other cultures in South Africa or even our own country.

How many of the people in your forum have visited all the provinces? How many of us can greet in all the official languages? How many know the capital city of our provinces?
 
Thirdly, we South Africans need to have honestly reflection about ourselves as individuals and as a country. We are some of the most ignorant people especially when it comes to our knowledge and appreciation of the African continent.

Few of us know about our neighbouring countries outside of the stereotypes of "them" coming to take "our" jobs or being illegal foreigners

 It'd be interesting to ask people in the forum to name a) our neighbouring countries, b) their capital cities, c) their presidents  or d) their official languages. Our ignorance would be embarrassing if this were extended to the rest of Africa (where we live by the way, not in the UK, Australia, America or Canada).
 
Finally, there are many South Africans that read broadly and educate themselves about themselves, their country, their continent and the world.
 
These multicultural (intra and international) experiences can do one of two things: prove the stereotypes that we've been raised with or open our minds to start discovering the endless realities in world. Those of us that have travelled, lived in metropolitan areas or had close contacts with other cultures should move away from the former and appreciate the latter.

- Are you a South African living abroad interested in sharing your views? What is it like for a South African living in a foreign country or how do you view South Africa from a distance? Send us your columns to feedback@news24.com and you might get published in our new Beyond Borders section.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

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