South Africa, it’s hard to miss when it’s literally self-explanatory on a map. That being said, there are things that make this country unique beyond its languages and history pre and post 1994. To those individuals who have been fortunate to leave the borders of the country, hopefully in a legal way will know that not everything we come into contact with as citizens are universally available.
A perfect example of this is the humble braai. Every meat eating country most likely has one but were the only country to call it by its real name, a braai. Not a barbeque like the rest of the world because we all know that’s the name of a flavour of a spice or a sauce. What’s even worse is that this leisure activity’s partner is known as a sausage across the world and not as boerewors. Which is unfair because viennas are known as viennas if only they were available in the city of Vienna and bratwurst as bratwurst regardless of where you are in the world, and they’re from. We’re always told to support Proudly South African products, but we do that on a regular basis. We might not be Germany or Japan and purchase locally produced cars, but we do have rusks and Rooibos. Two proudly South African products that we enjoy with as much pride as our national rugby team giving Australia a hiding, but if it’s Australia then beating them in everything brings the country together and national joy.
As far as food is concerned, there are what we can call, for lack of a better term, the celebrity foods that everybody knows and associates with South Africa, in the same way, Nelson Mandela is. These include but not limited to Mrs Balls Chutney, Milk tart and most importantly Biltong and wine. But food is not the only thing we’re known for. Thanks to the 2010 World Cup we also introduced the Vuvuzela to the world, but a noise complaint was lodged, and it’s now banned in most places outside our northern borders. The shy Chappies wrapper has educated so many people that call this place home, but the facts stated on its underside have made us famous for other reasons, some of which we don’t appreciate and realise as native South Africans, such as having the world’s longest wine route. 850 km of fermented grape goodness from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, which is a route that should be taken if the N2 reminds you too much of your way to work. We are also home to the second highest waterfall in the world — Tugela Falls at 948 metres.
These are all things that make South Africa, South Africa and this is without mentioning the usual sales material of our country, the tourism and wildlife, Nobel peace prize winners, beaches and lure of natural resources.