26 Dec 8 Ways To Have A Saffa Christmas and New Years’ Abroad
8 Ways To Have A Saffa Christmas and New Years’ Abroad
Most of us who have left South Africa don’t hate our homeland. We hate the incompetence, the sad state of the economy, the absolute mess of politics, the violence, ineptitude and so forth.
This doesn’t mean we ever discard or shrug off our homeland entirely. In fact – many saffas still have close ties to people, places and things back home.
Infuse Some Mzansi Into Your Festivities
Want to experience South Africa abroad? Here are some tips.
Trip the switch
Look – none of us want to say the obvious, but the obvious will probably be mentioned when we post this article online – absolutely trip the switch.
Christmas isn’t South African without loadshedding. Whether day, night or combined candlelight (because candles keep the flies and mozzies at bay during the day and night) – it’s a must!
Braai or shisa nyama?
Since the power’s off, you anyway need to cook your meat, grandma’s pie and whatnot over a fire – it’s the saffa way.
We don’t recommend doing this in places where open fires are prohibited, of course, but if you’re in a place where a braai is forbidden you can still have a marshmallow braai over your candles or in your fireplace.
Choose your battles
Look, this is part and parcel to all saffa culture: from Plattelandse Afrikaans to Royal Zulu, Cape Coloured, Durban Indian or Jozi Private School English laaities > You will have a fight with someone this season over something you’ve cropped up for an entire year (or several) and you will have a fallout.
Our advice is to choose someone who is not closely related to your grandmothers on either side or to your husband’s mother (if applicable) – this really just drags the entire thing out far longer than May-ish.
Look – it happens to the best of us. In fact, it’s been happening more and more over the years as we tend to think that shops will remain open even though we are well aware of the public holidays or downtimes in rural areas.
Whether you’re cooking a meal or have to get last-minute gifts, it’s important that you create the best meals from whatever you have around.
No one really cares what the ingredients are* as long as it tastes right. Bully beef? Two-minute noodles? Some garden herbs? Freshly sourced eggs? A leftover steak in the fridge? We’re not telling you how this will play out – but make one dish odd at least
*We’re not referring to those who have allergies or can’t eat certain foods due to religious or other reasons.
Buy tack shop gifts
Even street shops in Jozi and Lydenburg dry up in December. Anyone who’s been on holiday in SA knows that there are simply times you need to figure out which things at the general dealer, tackle shop, Chinese shop, immigrant market, old-aged home’s knitting bee or local fruit vendor will make the cut.
Instead of seeing these things as stressful, rest assured that most South Africans have purchased and received pretty weird last-minute gifts bought from local vendors on short notice.
Booze…or something similar
No-no, we’re not trying to step on any toes when it comes to those who are sober or those whose religions or personal convictions don’t allow alcohol – hear us out.
It’s just a big part of South African culture. While some may oppose this entry, the irony is that you’re more likely to convert those who love their drink by not telling them you’re not using alcohol.
A wonderful ‘mocktail’ is made by simply mixing Strawberry juice and Sprite at a 50:50 ratio. It’s so fizzy and strange that people generally don’t know it’s booze-free.
Cinnamon, cream and fruit extract similar to Marula liquor as a combo will also give people the impression of an Amarula shot. If you add peppermint extract to this you can replicate Springbokkies quite easily.
3-days Christmas, minimum
We have this on good authority from friends and family who are not necessarily Christian. It’s not just about religion, it’s about celebration. Festive season for all South Africans.
The Christmas party needs to:
– to start on 24 December (at least)
– restart early morning 25 December, and
– restart again mid-morning 26 December
There will be that awkward time when no one knows if they’re invited for the pre-post party.
This will most probably depend on who has most kids, though the rules vary.
The weirdness of the 26th is something we all need to tolerate as saffas – knowing when to stay, when to go, when to speak, when to eat and when to pee is quite a gamble.
Drive/walk somewhere disappointing
Nothing says Boxing Day/New Year’s morning like driving to Margate beach, Sportweni, Hartenbos, Gqeberha, Strand, or Melkbosstrand just to watch a sea of weird foam and random objects wash ashore.
It’s not something to be proud of, for sure, but it’s not unique either. This occurs across the world. The difference lies in the way South Africans complain about it.
This year – tell your kids or friends how you’re all responsible for cleaning up the mess of mankind.
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