11 Ways to P*ss Off a South African
This is Africa — a continent, not a country (Photo: Thinkstock)
I have lived overseas for the past seven years and have had my fair share of silly questions about South Africa. A typical exchange might go like this:
“Where are you from?” asks a friendly traveler (from a country I won’t mention to prevent national embarrassment).
“South Africa,” I’ll reply.
“South Africa! Cool, which country?” he’ll ask.
“Ummm, South Africa, the country right at the bottom of Africa?” I’ll say.
“Oh, OK,” he’ll slowly reply, sounding slightly confused.
News flash: Africa is a continent. And it is not split into two. There’s no North Africa, where people are always fighting, and there’s no South Africa, a vast mysterious area famous for wild animals and safaris. There is a country called South Africa, but it’s not all wild animals and people living in grass huts, with no technology or global awareness. It’s a modern, multicultural country with a rich history and a progressive people. (You’ve heard of Nelson Mandela, right?)
That there is Nelson Mandela, on a South African bank note (Photo: Thinkstock)
Here are some other questions that make us want to laugh at best — or worse, silently back away in shock, shaking our head and thinking, “Did I really just get asked that?”
1. But you’re white. Are your parents black?
Biology and history aren’t your strong suits, huh? Or maybe you’ve never read a newspaper, watched the news, or paid attention to the important things happening outside your bubble. Like in America, Europeans, mainly the Dutch and the British, colonized South Africa and therefore there are white people here — lots of us.
Can you tell who the South Africans are? (Photo: Thinkstock)