Field trip to South Africa Part 2

Dear all, thank you for your responses on my last blog. I like to keep you updated!

For the people in The Netherlands, yesterday was national memorial day. I saw the ceremony on the Dam square in Amsterdam and was struck by the ability of The Netherlands to grasp a national emotion, a national feeling of remembrance and the day after a celebration of our freedom. Last week South Africa had its Freedom day as well. The years of the post-apartheid era are counting, but some South Africans remain sceptical about the last 21 years of freedom.

I went to the University of Cape Town (UCT) last Thursday, to attend a meeting of students that are having discussions about the ‘decolonization’ of the university. They want the university to be Afrocentric instead of Eurocentric, focusing education on the African identity, the African culture, the African history. The difficulty with this country is that a common identity, culture or history is non present. How can you create an African identity in a country that has known the influence and power of the West for hundreds of years? This country is still far from having a united, national identity. “Field trip to South Africa Part 2” verder lezen

Field trip to South Africa Part 1

Hello everyone,

This is my first blog about my time in South Africa. I felt it was the right time to put some things online to let you know how it all goes. I’ll do it in English to keep this project an international one.

I had a hectic week on the one hand but a very quiet one as well, especially now that I’m alone in the big city, walking the streets for hours. The first two days at the Boonzaiers in Pretoria were pleasant as always. It is always nice to have a place where you can acclimatize before exploring this huge country. While waiting for my final grade of my MSc courses, I was a little stressed about the outcome of the grade thing and the further procedure of my graduation, but it turned out just fine. I celebrated the grading of my history thesis with a nice Savannah cider and some tapas at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, with sun and 27 C. Willem, the guy at whose apartment I’m staying, picked me up and brought me ‘home’.

Saturday the exploring of Cape Town started with a visit to the Castle in the city centre and the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, an old (textile) industrial area which has been ‘severely’ gentrificated the last years. It was very busy, because on Saturdays the neighbourhood market is open, which is comparable with the Foodhallen in Amsterdam. Large industrial halls full of food trucks and little food stalls, with large picknicktables to sit and enjoy your meal. “Field trip to South Africa Part 1” verder lezen