What if when women have children with an absentee father, the kids are not considered as illegitimate. What if our grannies were not subjected to having to raise two generations of children.
I bet then that the dating dynamic of older South African women would be different. The shame that palls over an older women’s decision to be in a relationship after a certain age would surely not exist. The stigma may not have had a chance to rear its ugly head.
This is what started another discussion of culture vs. progress with my significant other.
If one is to scan the media landscape you are confronted by the constant theme of black people needing to preserve their culture. Every time somebody says this to me I begin to wonder about the state of our culture. Are we a fragile fruit jam that needs to be bottled up… lest we succumb to external forces? Are we meant to be displayed and sold as a tourist attraction?
There is a lack of direction from our leaders… With every council meeting they bleat out the need for our culture to be recognised in our modern society. How our languages are dying and homelands and rural areas are in desperate need of development.
This comes from the very same leaders who drive huge Merc’s that need maintenance in major city hubs, where a dealership is on almost every corner.
These are the very same leaders who don’t see the value of every little boy or girl taking the car apart and putting it back together again… After all he is not really paying for it anyway.
They are the leaders who have been fortunate enough to see the world, and had the privilege to observe countries that have saved their language and progressed at the same time.
There is always concern that we will suffer in the name of traditions we wish to preserve, while at the same time foregoing the influence of progress and time over the planet.
Our current leaders seem to almost be thinking to small, you can certainly attribute this to a revolutionary hangover. Rousing and invigorating the masses to a new change; a change that requires sacrifice from them, in the age of freedom, is a daunting task for any leader to try and sell. Especially after not having anything for so long.
In the modern century when knowing how to sell something almost always guarantees you getting what you want. A sales pitch for the future of this country that foregoes the incorporation of progress and technology falls flat.
Perhaps there is a palpable fear of rocking the boat… But in truth we are already in choppy waters. We as a society cannot hide from the onslaught of information that is becoming more easily available.
So maybe it is time for our culture to take a leap and evolve in order to secure its continued existence.
In the exercise of preserving our traditions we are filled with stories of how our cultures changed and adapted to new circumstances. From Shaka and the introduction of the short spear; King Moeshoeshoe and his military strategy and Dutch travelers who would later become Suid-Afrikaners.
The ability of a collective group of people to rally together under the guise of survival is commonplace throughout human history. Cultures change through the actions of people, no matter how significant.
It also means having the capacity to agree with an idea even if it goes against everything you have been taught or brought up to believe. Purely because it makes sense. It means sharing the knowledge that you have, even when ears will not listen. We need to lead the type of lives that are filled with conscious actions that will make a difference.
Our culture is not a revolution… it is the sum of our lives, and we alone have ultimate control of our lives.
The price of progress is tackling ignorance.