Different Perspectives

The students listen to what it's like to be a young white woman in South Africa.

The students listen to what it’s like to be a young white woman in South Africa.

On Wednesday in our QU301 class we had a very interesting Skype session with Tamarin. Although we have previously read about the South African history, I think it was very helpful for all of us to understand what it is like in South Africa today. Tamarin told us that there is a lot of tension between South Africans, not just between the different races in South Africa but also within the races. She said there is a lot of tension between coloured people and black people, between the Afrikaners and the English South Africans. What I also thought was interesting was how Tamarin, before working with Quinnipiac students, never thought Americans would like to help out in South Africa. That just made me realize what people must think of us.

Tamarin is South African, but she told us that many people classify her as “European” instead. I think this really shows us how South Africa’s community is divided into different groups dependent on their race and inheritance, which is something I personally can relate to. I moved with my family to Bermuda when I was 14 years old, and I was brought into a very diversified community. There are different groups in Bermuda; the immigrants, white people, black people, English people, and the Portuguese people. Bermuda has many different people and cultures, just like South Africa.The difference is that despite the different groups in Bermuda, I never felt like there were any specific issues between the groups. Bermuda used to have slavery in the country, but never apartheid. That makes me realize how much apartheid must have had an impact on South Africa, considering the tension between the groups in the country.

I also came across an ad campaign from the organization Water is Life. This video does not take place in South Africa, but I thought it was relevant to our discussion in class considering we were talking about what the children never have had access to. There are children out there, just like Tamarin told us, who have never used crayons to draw and paint. This video that I came across is not at all making fun of our problems and our lifestyle, but rather making us see things from a different perspective.

In class Lila showed us different tools to use in our blogs. She showed us different sites and I was thrilled because I really like to work with pictures and graphs online. I made a Wordle of Nelson Mandela’s speech he held when he was released from prison in 1990. The most used words in his speech was struggle and people. I think Nelson Mandela used these words because they describe what the South African people have gone through during apartheid, and after. I think using these tools that Lila showed us will help us with our work and our reflections.

Wordle: Nelson Mandela release speech


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