Monday, 6 October 2008
leaving and cleaving
So, I'm still wondering about the whole white African thing, and a couple of things have caught my eye lately.
We were watching an episode of "Who do you think you are" recently. It's a TV show that really taps into people's obsession with their roots. The episode traced the history of Alistair McGowan, a comedian, who really thought he was Scottish. Well, he would, wouldn't he! Turns out he was Anglo-Indian, and he traced his Indian links back through about seven generations when the original (Irish) ancestor came to India.
I was fascinated to discover that the British had a presence in India from 1600 until the country regained its independence in 1947, 347 years years later. Surely there were whites who lived there who regarded themselves as Indian? And what happened to them? Are they contributing members of society, or did they all find their way back to the mother ship?
And, talking about people clinging to the past, or holding onto things way past their sell by date, how's this phenomenon? Women who buy baby-like dolls because they can't bear the fact that their children or grandchildren have grown up.
I can honestly say that, while I miss my little boys, I wouldn't swap them for the men they've grown into.
But I do wonder, am I doomed one day to to wander in some other land, clinging to the remnants of my African past?
Will my gravestone, shaped like a braai grid perhaps, be sticking forlornly out of the Canadian snow?
Or is this really the rainbow nation, that belongs to all who live in it?