Is it not true that each person is a world?
Today I had the opportunity to speak on Praat Saam on RSG (Radio Sonder Grense) about the role I think language plays when we want to embrace and celebrate diversity. As I am doing research for my project and recording episodes for my Afrikaans YouTube channel, I am just reminded once again that when you learn a new language, you gain insight into a world and every person who speaks that language, represents a part of that world. I often have a little bit of time with my students before the class starts and I love it to just ask them about their home language. Although I can’t understand or speak it, it is so enriching when they tell me about words that don’t exist in English or when their eyes light up because an idiom in Afrikaans reminds them of one in their own language.
What am I actually doing? I am not only running a business, sharing knowledge or living my passion. This is about people. It is about dwelling in that magical space where in our differences, we realise that we are all the same. Language has power and can represent access, growth and change. In this morning’s discussion on the radio, they spoke about the difference between ‘tolerating’ each other’s differences and ’embracing’ them. An embrace is in essence a hug and you can never give a hug without receiving one, so I challenge you today to get to know someone of a different race or cultural background and to learn something from them.
In the meantime I am busy recording the rest of Season 1 of The Afrikaans Tutor. Thank you to everyone who is contributing – it’s great! Be on the lookout for more episodes.