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Daai Een
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'Koshuiskultuur', Apartheid heroes and the 'volk'

25 March 2014, 07:06
There are many things about Afrikaans culture that I'm very proud to call my own. I love our rich literature, especially considering that our language was only standardised in the 1930s. I love some of the music, especially the songs mutually shared by whites and coloureds. Not to mention the Voëlvry movement, run by Afrikaans musicians who were gatvol of Apartheid. I love my language and I love some of the films made recently. 

What baffles me, is the things people endorse in our culture. Of all the people to be cherished, some individuals and 'civil rights movements' choose HF Verwoerd and JBM Hertzog (see the latest Afrikaner qualm at the University of the Free State). Of all the cultural practices people are willing to fight for, 'koshuiskultuur' seems to be at the top of 'die volk's' priority list. See once again the UF saga, as well as the Potch incident that was exposed earlier this year. 

The individuals supporting these practices and worshipping people like Verwoerd and Hertzog are a small minority, but damn, they are loud and in your face. As in your face as 'koshuiskultuur': That thing that one group, namely white Afrikaners, have hijacked as their own. Every-so-often, despite attempts from management at various institutions to make student life more pleasant and open for all, 'koshuiskultuur' sticks out it's ugly head, specifically at some of the traditionally (white) Afrikaans Universities. 

At many residences Afrikaner 'culture' rules supreme, although most of these rites and practices are even foreign and/or childish to staunch Afrikaans speakers, both white and coloured: That culture that makes gay people feel unwelcome, especially men, who have to share open showers with Rugby ' brekers'. That culture that pushes non-white people aside, unless they learn to speak 'die taal', and get immersed in 'koshuiskultuur'. Referring to yourself is a 'boer' might score you points if you're black. 

Then there's that entitlement claimed by the men of this culture to oppress women. Many a woman would testify that a visit to a boyfriend's at a university residence is often met by cat calls. Staying the night would gain you status as slut - your name could even end up on the guy you slept with's public trophy list.  Once you're on that list, none of the whiteys in that residence would look at you twice, because they don't do 'left overs'. Yup, 'koshuiskultuur' is a threat to the dignity of women. And what's more, in women's residences this type of sexism is often tolerated, and women are encouraged to actively try land a husband, from said men's residences. This is achieved through singing silly sings and doing ridiculous dances (where a nazi salute occasionally slips in by accident). Because the onus to impress in hetro-sexualism always rests on the woman...
I'm by no means claiming that sexism, racism and historical ignorance are restricted to Afrikaner culture. I've already said these macho deeds are upheld by a small minority. But I can't decide what I find more disturbing - the fact that loud individuals and movements publicly defend this lunacy, or the knowledge that this culture that oppresses and excludes is imposed upon others - those that don't find it intellectually stimulating and exciting, those that have no alternative to university accommodation due to finances, and those that give oppression the finger.
 Come on Afrikaans people, let's revive people and practices that contribute(d) positively to society. The Afrikanerdom have a lot to boast about, but Apartheid heroes and macho rituals are just not it. We can do better, it's up to us to change the way South Africa, especially the non-white population, perceive us and our culture. The current bigotry dominant in main stream media aren't doing us any favours...
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