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The Ethnic Groups of South Africa and their effects on its society.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

The Ethnic Groups of South Africa Sirisha Nandini Jala SOC 308 Jennifer Cramer January 17th 2011 The ethnicities of South Africa First, South Africa is a country with a very rich and vivid ethnic history because it boasts the Coloureds and Asians as two of the minorities. There are three types of Coloured people in South Africa: part White and part Black, part Black and part Asian, or part Asian and part White (Kizilos, 16). The members of the Coloured group are people who are born from interracial unions. The Coloured group did not have to carry passes unlike the Black South Africans had to during the Apartheid-era and had more political privileges then the Blacks did (Marger, 379). There are three different groups of Asians in South Africa. The three different Asian ethnicities are the Indians, Chinese, and Malays ( Kizilos, 16). The Malays are interesting because they are called Coloureds but also Asians. One notable Asian South African is the Community of Christ International Peace Award recipient Ela Gandhi, who happens to be the granddaughter of M.K.Gandhi (Walters, 2010). Additionally, the Whites are the largest of the three minorities. The members of the largest group are the Afrikaners whereas the members of the smaller group are the English-speaking South Africans (Kizilos, 1998).

Middle

This reminds me of the Dalits and their lives under India's caste system. South Africa has a unique culture and many diverse groups call South Africa their home. Emery states in Class and Race Domination and Transformation in South Africa, "The apartheid era of South Africa similar to Nazi Germany ordered racial purification, but unlike the genocide of the Holocaust, this cleansing had limits because of the Afrikaners' need of inexpensive black manual labor" (Emery, 2008). There is a unique correlation between the Church and State in the history of this country. Interestingly, the Dutch Reformed Church developed the idea of Apartheid (Giliomee, 2003). In my opinion, The Afrikaners: Biography of a People is a valuable textbook because it offers a different perspective on much of the usual intelligence about the Afrikaners as a race. Giliomee suggests that the first time someone used the term Afrikaner; it described a European in March 1707 (Giliomee, 2003). Ironically, it seems that the South Africans got the idea of prohibiting interracial relationships from the anti-miscegenation laws of America. The Immorality Amendment Act (1961) continued as an official law in South Africa until 1985, making intercourse between whites and non-whites a prohibited decree under apartheid (Barber, 2004). The only difference between these two countries was that America overturned the anti-miscegenation laws in Loving v. Virginia whereas; South Africa persisted in prohibiting these relationships.

Conclusion

When other blacks shun him and his family, he is prone to see that as proof of doing a good job. One extraordinary scene that is also one of my favorites is when Micah tells the new black recruits to be honored when they hear themselves being called pigs. He writes "PIG" on the blackboard and explains: "P" is for pride, "I" for intelligence and "G" for guts or glory (Canby, 1993). Another movie about South Africa's tragic apartheid era is The Color of Friendship and I watched it one night on the Disney Channel when it premiered. Mahree Bok lives on her family farm in South Africa. Her father is a police officer who cannot hide his joy when activist Steve Biko is caught by the South African authorities. Piper Dellums is the daughter of a US congressional representative from California who lives in a nice home in Washington DC. This movie was based on the true story of black Congressman Ron Dellums, who is forced to confront his opposition to apartheid when an African exchange student comes to stay at his home in 1977. Expecting a person of color, he and his wife Roscoe are surprised when a white South African girl arrives. Even more startling was the fact that the girl was raised during Apartheid and taught to think of black people as second-class citizens. The situation teaches them valuable lessons about tolerance and racism.

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