Book’s section on coloured culture to be updated after backlash on Twitter

12 February 2017 - 17:07 By Azizzar Mosupi
Rainbow Nation Navigation: A Practical Guide to South African cultures
Rainbow Nation Navigation: A Practical Guide to South African cultures
Image: Twitter

As a result of the online backlash from the coloured community in SA‚ the publishers of the book ‘Rainbow Nation Navigation: A Practical Guide to South African cultures’ will be updating the section on coloureds.

“Due to recent feedback from the Coloured community‚ we have decided to update the Coloured section of RNN‚” said the book’s publisher Logogog.

“The book’s biggest aim is to create understanding between races and cultures in South Africa. So if you identify as part of this community‚ we are open for your input‚” the publishers said.

This comes in the wake of the coloured community‚ on social media site Twitter‚ lambasting the book and its authors who include Paula Marais for their portrayal of their culture. Among the points of contention was the section on the local phrase “vat-en-sit” as well as the so-called practices of coloured people at baby showers.

One extract from the book read: “Coloured People also have baby showers. If you’re invited to one of these‚ the here are some hints: - Hand-me-downs are acceptable gifts‚ although in the younger generation‚ this is becoming rare. - Good gifts to give the mother include baby clothes‚ baby toys and useful baby items (like blankets and baby bags).”

  • READ MORE: Book’s comments on coloured culture spark storm on TwitterLocally-published book Rainbow Nation Navigation: A Practical Guide to South African cultures and one of its authors‚ Paula Marais‚ are at the centre of a Twitter storm as a result of some of the comments in the book.

Another extract read: “There’s a little (unacceptable) thing called ‘vat en sit’‚ which refers to a man moving in with his girlfriend and‚ often‚ letting her pay for his expenses. In some cases the girlfriend falls pregnant. She then returns to her mother and makes peace with her (usually by apologising). The girlfriend moves back in with her and then has the child‚ She then leaves the child with the mother and returns to the boyfriend.”

“I have to say we are upset that the community is upset. We are a ‘Rainbow’ family and you only have to see my Facebook page to see that (the book was a family affair) and had the best intentions with this book‚” said Paula Marais.

“The main aim was to encourage an understanding between cultures as we felt we wanted to engage with other South Africans better. Unfortunately‚ we may have missed the mark in the Coloured section‚ which was researched and written by a contributor on a tight deadline. The book was published 7 years ago and this is the first negative response we’ve had‚” she explained.

Marais also said that she has had a number of horrible statements directed at her since the storm on Twitter began.

“I guess the only positive thing I can say about this experience is that we are opening dialogue‚ which can help us learn about each other‚ which is what we wanted to do. I can only apologise on behalf of all the contributors.”