Mhambi has been redeployed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Canada's struggles does and does'nt mirror that of South Africa


need more flags?
Originally uploaded by JukeBox.



Mhambi is in Montreal, Canada. Now, Montreal is the capital of the Quebecois (see correction below). That is to say, the French speaking bit of Canada.

A few observations. English speaking Canadians - at least the ones I observed - make no effort what-so-ever to try and speak even the most rudimentary French in shops etc. Most of the French Canadians speak English, often begrudingly. So in that respect its a bit like in South Africa.

In the past the creation of Canada had a very direct influence on South Africa. The governor of the Cape, Mr Frere, got some of his ideas for a grand confederation of South Africa (incorporating the Transvaal, the Cape, the Free state and Natal), from the Canadian federation between the French and English speaking peoples of Canada. (Of course he was only considering the white South African population when making these plans, as did the Canadians.)

The difference and the problem for Frere of course was that while the English speaking Canadians outnumbered the French ones in Canada, the Boers of the Republics and the Cape Afrikaners outnumbered South Africa's English. In fact South Africa was and is home to the largest Anglophone community in the world without direct political power.

The other marked difference, and this you notice today, is that neither the French or the English Canadians saw themselves as not connected to their colonial motherland. It was almost as if the cross English channel battles were transplanted: In the form of cultural wars on Canadian soil.

On the English side of Canada you find Royal this, and Elisabeth that, while the Quebecois flag, Montreal Street and suburb names are all full of references to France.

None of them were and are now calling themselves something like Afrikaners or Americans. They were or are colonials and proud of it.

Another difference is that there is very little sign here of the original inhabitants of Canada.

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2 comments:

tvoh said...

Forgive me a small quibble, Quebec City is the capital of the Province of Quebec. You'd know this if you followed hockey:)

Wessel said...

Ah, thanks for putting me right.