Defying Friday the 13th
It is the story of adapting and adopting, without forgetting where I came from and who I am. It is the story of two traditions merging in one family, who are walking a tightrope between not forgetting one culture and not letting the other culture dominate. Like anyone who has ever lived in another country, I have had to wrestle with the question of where and what home is. Home and at home have taken on a new meaning.
Although my roots will always be in Africa, I am a cosmopolitan now.
I’ll never stop missing Mrs Balls’ chutney or peppermint crisp
chocolates, but I can get just as excited about Italian cuisine or
films, or French joie de vivre or the thought of my mother-in-law’s
home-made pretzels and Oabaza waiting for me when we travel to Bavaria.
More than in Africa I live the seasons: sitting with friends in a city
square in summer sipping a Sekt, then meeting up at the Christmas
market, dressed warmly against the cold, to drink a quick Glühwein,
before we go to a warm restaurant for dinner.
Like my ancestors before me who left Europe to go to Africa on a
journey into the unknown, I, too, came on a journey that held so many
more surprises than I could have ever bargained for.
(c) Anli Serfontein, From Rock to Kraut, 2008