United by pap: for better or wors

You can tell a lot about a country from the history of its favourite food. Yunus Momoniat tracks several strands of the South African story through the humble mielie

20 September 2020 - 00:00 By Yunus Momoniat

When someone shouts “It’s my culture”, you’d better back off. Many of us argue in this way when we’re challenged about some practice or other, firmly putting a full stop to any debate. The tactic is used to defend a practice some groups disapprove of, a noted South African example being polygamy.

On the other hand, heritage is sometimes imposed on a subject people, as Steve Biko pointed out: “In a country like ours [blacks] are forced to celebrate holidays like Paul Kruger’s day. Heroes’ day, Republic day etcetera, all of which are occasions during which the humiliation of defeat is at once revived.”..

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