It’s no secret that Elaine and I love to travel. Strictly speaking, we don’t like travelling, we love arriving – there is a difference.

Over the last few years, we’ve visited many different countries stretching across 4 continents, heard many different languages and experienced many different cultures. From dashing through the snow on a husky sledge in the Arctic or joining the street party in Rio, to gambling in Vegas or witnessing the spectacular Vic Falls in Zimbabwe – I think it’s safe to say that we’ve covered quite a fair bit of ground. If all goes according to plan, we should be off to Japan and China next year to soak up everything the east has to offer. And let’s not forget about our life here in London, living in a multi-cultural, major global city where we interact with people from all walks of life on a daily basis. It’s the one city in the UK where we work with the British, the Europeans, the Yankees, people from the Commonwealth and far beyond!

But you see, travelling is the one thing that you spend money on that actually makes you richer. Experiencing other cultures are great, but it also helps to shape a mental picture of where ‘we’ fit in, and with ‘we’, I mean South Africans. More specifically, Afrikaners. Whether you care to admit it or not, we Afrikaners, like every other culture, also have our stereotypical moments and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s actually kind of funny when the Brits point out certain things we do that we, as South Africans, perceive to be “normal”.

To name a few:

  • When the sun is out, we make a fire. This is not a southern hemisphere thing, it’s a South African thing. Even the Aussies and the Kiwis find it funny.
  • We don’t let the weather spoil our braai (barbeque). The locals are fascinated by the fact that South Africans will stock up their charcoal or firewood in the summer months (because it’s not sold throughout the winter) to keep the braai going in the colder months.
  • Biltong and Droëwors – of all the gifts South Africans have given to the world, Biltong and Droëwors will probably top the list. Afrikaners are well-known in international circles for making their own Biltong and Droëwors at home and the locals love the taste. Whether we live in the UK, Canada or Australia – Afrikaners always seem to have a home-made ‘Biltong dry box’ somewhere in the corner.
  • We are absolutely obsessed with the weather. If it’s too cold (anything under 10’C), we complain. If it’s too hot (anything over 27’C), we complain. When it rains, we complain. And when it’s not raining enough, we also complain because it’s too dry. Sound familiar?
  • Boer maak ‘n plan – yes we do! Afrikaners tend to be quick thinkers when it comes to problem-solving. Sometimes our creative solutions are frowned upon at first, but in the end, we always get the job done.
  • PT shorts and Khaki shirts – need I say more?
  • Afrikaans songs are not about the lyrics. It’s about the beat. As long as you can sokkie (dance) to the beat, the lyrics don’t have to make sense and are often just replaced with sounds like ah-ah, oeka-oeka, toeka-toeka, oi-oi!
  • Springbok games are hardly ever missed. Whether you are legally or illegally signed in on your sister’s DSTV account to watch it online, or whether you met a friend in a pub who has a Sky subscription, Afrikaners always tend to find a way to support the Green and Gold.

So why am I telling you this? Because today we attended the Makietie at the Saracens Rugby Club where we, pretty much, ticked all these boxes. Hosted by SA Gemeente, it’s the one day a year where South Africans, mostly Afrikaners, come together to have some fun. From boeresport, bobotie, vetkoek and pannekoek to sipping a beer next to an open fire whilst joking about Jacob Zuma or the Springboks – we did it all!

We also enjoyed some intense touch rugby games in 28’C sunny weather. And yes we did, of course, complain about the heat 🙂

Till next time,

Andre