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SOUTH AFRICA
HISTORY OF SOUTH AFRICA
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HISTORY OF SOUTH AFRICA
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TOWNS IN SOUTH AFRICA A-D
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AFRIKAANS
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PORTRAIT OF SOUTH AFRICA

 

South Africa, is roughly the size of Spain and has an astonishing range of environments, from the moonscapes of the north-west to the forest edged coastline of the garden Route. From the flat dry karoo to the craggy Drakensberg in the east. The vineyards of the Cape to the flower fields of Namaqualand.

The many wildlife parks further north are home to Buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions and rhino. The wetlands and marine reserves along the east coast are full of sea creatures and birds. Then there are the beaches, famous for boardsailing, swimming, surfing and fishing apart from getting a great suntan.

Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu called SA, the rainbow people of God, because it is full of beliefs, traditions and heritages within a country of breathtaking beauty.

Although 60% of the countries electricity is generated in SA, more than half the nation still have to rely on paraffin, wood and gas for heating and cooking.

In 1994, English, Afrikaans and nine Bantu languages were recognized as the official ones. Afrikaans is derived from Dutch and is spoken by about 18% of the population.

Religion crosses many of the cultural and social divides. The African independent churches have a large following as their approach to tribal mysticism and a firm belif in the influence of ancestral spirits. The Dutch Reformed, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Anglican churches draw worshippers from all population groups. Islam is strong in the western Cape while buddists and Hindus are mainly found in Durban.

Music has always played a central part in traditional ceremony clearly leads the way. Regular church choirs are popular in many areas. The sound of the Zulu Mbube has become one of the countries best known exports. Pop music, reggae, jazz and Kwela all determine the local flavor.

White Afrikaans heritage embraces a powerful body of prose and poetry and a musical tradition. Their songs tend to be nostalgic. By contrast, the colored peoples music is lively with bouncy melodies and racy lyrics.

 

                                LITERARY SOUTH AFRICA

 

A rich tradition exists in all 11 languages. Most books were published in Afrikaans or English while much of the heritage was passed down orally. Most books are enjoying a wider audience now and are getting popular abroad.

Over the years, SA has inspired a number of outstanding authors and poets among them Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, olive Schreiner, Sir Laurens Van Der Post and Mzwakhe Mbuli.

Many communities have an oral tradition of stories, ancestory, proverbs and riddles passed on from generation to generation.  Traditional African tales, novels and poetry have been published in English and include Indaba my Children.

The dutch formed the basis of a local tongue known as Afrikaans or Die Taal. It was formally recognized when the bible was translated into the language. Almost a 100 books were translated before 1900.

Afrikaans became a hated symbol of oppression during the apartheid years and yet today it is more spoken that any other tongue.