Tag Archives: diversity

Being Cuban and black in post-apartheid South Africa

By Sol Maria Fernandez Knight Growing up, my mother always told me that I was a special child. But then again many parents want their children to feel unique and valuable, to instill a sense of pride in their identity, and to remind them of their heritage. As a child I did not think how being…

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Poetry and diversity

Usually, when the term, ‘diversity’ is mentioned anywhere in South Africa, it denotes racial and/or cultural diversity, and it carries strong overtones of obligatory political correctness. This is also true elsewhere, if ‘diversity’ is a reference to multiculturalism, one of the most powerful ideologies of the current era (as demonstrated and critiqued by Slavoj Žižek…

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Personality differences across the world

When you travel a lot, as we do, to different parts of the world, encountering people from widely divergent cultures, one might think that you would also come across personalities widely different from those you find in your own culture. However, experience has taught me that this is not the case, and that the divergences…

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Lessons on language while in Beijing

By Curwyn Mapaling Naturally, when you attend a symposium or a conference in another country, you expect to learn, to share, to travel, and to explore. There’s so much to learn when entering a foreign country for the first time – everything is new, everything is interesting. I was recently selected to attend the Yenching…

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Emmys give hope, but TV still suffers lack of diversity

It was unfortunate that the excellent Mad Men was not awarded outstanding drama series at last night’s Emmy Awards. An opportunity missed to give the series, which aired its last episode in May this year after seven seasons, a fine sending off, much like Breaking Bad had last year. Mad Men’s depiction of American life…

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What makes diversity dialogues relevant and meaningful?

By Curwyn Mapaling “We were like best friends and yet we just met that day. It’s so cool that you could come from such different places in the world and still form that kind of connection.” What happens when American post-grad counselling students from Indiana start talking to a bunch of post-grad psychology students from…

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Celebrating our heritage beyond braais and traditional outfits

On September 24 we will once again celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa. This is a day on which South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions. Although the vision of this day resonates with me, in reality I experience it as incredibly superficial….

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The diversity of individuals

Some individuals are gregarious, and others are solitary. It is probably also the case that there is a group in-between these extremes – those people who are neither solitary nor gregarious, but are happy with their own company when alone, and comfortable among others at work, at play and on other social occasions. It is…

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The braai or shisa nyama is not heritage

By Unéné Gregory We brand our beautiful country as a rainbow nation, one with people of various backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities. We are a country unlike any other and one of the days to acknowledge our diversity and actively learn about one another is Heritage Day. Formerly celebrated only in KwaZulu-Natal as King Shaka day our…

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#KnowYourDA BEE pushes nothing new

I was snooping around the archives of the South African Institute of Race Relations during a visit earlier this year, particularly drawn to the boxes on the constitutional negotiations. One of these contained, among other things, the ANC’s position on a constitution for what would later become KwaZulu-Natal, academic and political discussions on federalism, and…

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