Religion is a huge part of SA’s culture. There are many Christian, Jewish and Muslim people around, but they usually go to schools according to their religions.
Well, I am in a Christian School and we have a big assembly once a week where we pray and talk about morals and values or Jesus. The entire School prays together every morning and some teachers even do it before their lessons.
My family is taking me to church once a week and we say grace before we eat. Even though I don’t believe in any God, I think its important to be thankful and appreciate what we have.
Also in the gym class my Dad and I are visiting we pray before we start and ask God for strength and to bless our bodies and the workout.
It became a nice ritual even with my friends here, whether in a restaurant or at home, that we pray before we eat to thank God for our friendship.
Church here is completely different from what I experienced, in fact the people here worship and believe with passion and are so excited about their relationship with Jesus. It is a popular youth thing and there are many worship concerts where everyone dances and sings to praise Jesus.
Therefore because of SAs variety of cultures, there are many different opinions about different beliefs, what is right and what is wrong.
Some african religions only belive in ancestors and omens and slaughter animals to worship them.
Some believe in both, God and ancestors and others dont believe at all.
There are some churches that are very strict, their people have to dress according to their rules.
In other ones the people fall on the floor, scream and shout during the service because god “touched” them.
During my stay with a zulu family we slaughtered different animals (by hand) to praise the ancestors. It is tradition to make a bracelet from goat skin as a sign of protection from the ancestors. They gave me one as a present, to show that I am part of the family that I really liked.
I still wear it today and since I got it in sept 2014, people have given me lots. of feedback. In any case, the people look always a little confused when they see a white person wearing something so meaningful that only Zulus wear.
Zulus usually like it very much, but for other religions that believe in ancestors or God, it is unacceptable. Sometimes random people just shout at me because they say that I am no part of the zulu culture and they give me long monolouges about what is right and what is wrong and try to scare me so that I will take it off. Our christian helper said that if she was wearing the bracelet she would’nt be able to sleep because the bracelet apparently is “evil”.
I personally dont like all the people interfering in my business but its not worth arguing about because the people wont listen anyway.
It makes me sad when strangers tell me that I cant belong to a zulu community because I am white. For the first 4 months I was part of a zulu family. I lived, laughed, ate and prayed with them and tried my best to learn zulu.
I dont believe in ancestors or anything else, I just keep it as a memory and I like it.