A shocking but important lesson I have learnt today on Respect and Good Vibrations Spreading for the New Year Eve

I had the idea of writing that blog post, just after I have received an unexpected phone call this evening at my in-laws’ place, and it made me so furious that a fight even happened between me and my husband, but finally ending with an understanding from my husband.

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Like every 2nd of January, at my in-laws’ place in Mauritius, my father-in-law organizes a big lunch reuniting all his brothers, sisters-in-law, my mother-in-law, his sons, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces and grandchildren within the commemoration of the New Year. As we had the opportunity to come to Mauritius to celebrate the New Year with them for one week, we had a wonderful dinner organized in a very good atmosphere, even though the children, ie my nephew and my son, were messing around here and there as kids 🙂 After dinner though, the phone rang and I picked up the phone, thinking that it was my husband’s brother who was calling to inform that he arrived safely at home, since he always calls when he reaches home safely. Instead of him, it was a female voice which seemed to be familiar to me but for which I wasn’t sure myself, and I came to know that it was my cousin’s wife’s voice, an insane and hypocrite woman I really dislike, since she gossiped a lot against me and my husband with a lot of people in the family and is reputed to be a troublemaker and a disrespectful person. She thought first it was my mother-in-law who picked up the phone, but then she came to know that it was me, whom she mentioned as “D….’s wife!” It made me extremely angry when she called me as “D…’s wife” (NB: D is the initial letter of my husband’s first name), since we know each other since I was 7 years old and since she knows very well that we are sisters-in-law and that her husband and I are cousins. She suddenly treated me as a stranger instead of a family member, and this partly thanks to the gossips my mother made against my in-laws and even against myself when some serious conflicts between my parents and my in-laws arose exactly 11 years ago, in year 2007 on a 2nd January evening during the annual New Year dinner! I didn’t hesitate to talk to her very brutally in presence of my husband and of my mother-in-law and put that asshole back at her place, since I didn’t appreciate the fact she was treating me as a stranger, as she knows me very well since I was a child, and this was something I interpreted totally as a pure lack of respect towards a family member, even though I am younger than her. My husband and my mother-in-law, instead of supporting me, reproached me for my brutality against her since it’s the New Year, instead of understanding the way she disrespected me and treated me as a total stranger. But after a tough explanation, at least my husband understood the situation though it was very hard to understand it first for him.

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First of all, even though I wrote the blog post previously about Fireworks, Thankfulness and Forgiveness, and even though I wished a Happy New Year and decided to forgive all my frienemies and enemies, it doesn’t mean that I accepted what those people did to me… and that sister-in-law is unfortunately among all those adversaries that I have in life, belonging to the last category I mentioned on those who act as spies for my adversaries in disguise of a fake and hypocrite friendship, only to fish information from me and then repeating everything to my adversaries to allow them destroying me a little more. Then I started thinking about what has just happened and I started asking me some fundamental questions: Why do also hypocrites wish us Happy New Year? Why do they think of us and wish us the best whereas behind our back they keep on criticizing, blaspheming and gossiping against us constantly? Why should I wish her a hypocrite Happy New Year in return of her hypocrite wishes, whereas she doesn’t even deserve those wishes from me after all the pain she caused to me?

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The Wikipedia gives two definitions of the words respect and which are totally true. The first one as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” and the second one as “due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.” Further to my own experiences that I have had, I HATE the second definition, which is something that I see in a very extreme way in my own patriarchal family, which is of Hindu religion, and in which the youngsters must always respect their elders, even though the elders never respect them and mistreat them. For me, this is not respect, this is pure abiding and I never understood and was always against it since I was a child. See my narcissistic parents for example. Why should I respect them despite all the pain they caused to me due to the emotional and verbal abuse I have been experimenting as a golden child or as a scapegoat alternatively and depending of their mood swings? And unfortunately this is the kind of respect that all the youngsters of my patriarchal family were taught to practice towards my parents, especially since my father belonged to the second generation if we consider my grandparents’ generation as the first one. According to what I heard, it seemed that all the elders disrespected their children but the children were forced to abide, especially the girls in the family. For me I am categorical: if a child respects his grandparents and elders, that same child also deserves the same respect from his elders equally.

However, wherever, nonetheless, I accept that definition of respect is when I retrieve myself in some specific circumstances. For example, I will express my respect if there is a funeral in a family or among some people who are in pain, even though I don’t really love them. This is exactly what I am actually feeling for my sister-in-law, since her father fell seriously ill due to some cardiac complications and had to do surgery in emergency to recover. I will express my respect if I see a funerary procession, in a cemetery or a marriage being celebrated by avoiding to make some noise. I will express some respect for other religions even though their beliefs are different from mine. I will express some respect in case there is a prayer being held in any religious buildings such as a temple, a church, a mosque, etc by not making noise. I will respect the regulations when it comes on specific places such as supreme court or hospitals. I will respect the decision of keeping a minute of silence for people who died even though I don’t know them personally. I will respect the hard work made by anyone who took so much time to concretise it, such as the buildings of the architects or the novels written by an author, or the ascension of newly graduated people doing their first steps into the professional world. I will also respect God and all Its creations, and for example avoid some behaviors when I go to the prayer room. I have respect for Mother Nature and for cleanliness, which makes that I always care for having a good life hygiene in respect of the environment around me and of my own health. There are so many examples again to mention but they are some examples of behavior I adapt as any good citizen would do, either in Mauritius or overseas.

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However, I really enjoy the first definition of respect, and this is that kind of respect that I feel for some celebrities and also for several of my loved ones among my family, my in-laws, my friends, my social networks and society in general. I would like to illustrate that definition of respect, not with an example, but rather with a counter-example. It’s been one year since I am good friends with a young public figure, Krishna Athal. The way we came to know each other and we became good friends is very particular, since it’s thanks to one of his college friends, who is also another local Mauritian celebrity like him, that I heard about Krishna for the very first time, but not with the best critics unfortunately. The local celebrity who criticized Krishna so harshly shamelessly showed his true colors to Krishna one day, while they met in a restaurant one day during lunch time. Krishna was talking on his mobile phone, whereas the local celebrity was by hazard entering the restaurant. The celebrity saw Krishna and didn’t care if he was on the phone. He toughly patted Krishna on his shoulder with his hand from behind, and this was something Krishna said he really hated, and I give him right on that since if this happened to me in public, I wouldn’t have hesitated to reprimand the person even though it’s somebody who is close to me. What made me laughing was that the local celebrity asked Krishna “Ki position mo frere?” (How are you, my brother in Mauritian Creole). As Krishna already knew the truth through me on all the bad things that the celebrity gossiped with me against him, he didn’t answer and kept on talking on the phone and told me that when it happened, he thought of me and he smiled 🙂 I really admire Krishna’s calm temperament in front of the thunderstorm, and I wish I could imitate him because I was really boiling by the way the celebrity did against Krishna, especially when he mentioned Krishna as a “brother” in the face, but talked rubbish against him and his personality behind his back. For me also this is a huge lack of respect, and purely hypocrisy. If you are not in good terms with someone you consider as an enemy, why should you then be hypocrite with that person? Better let that person go and move your own way without offending anyone, nah?

For the New Year also, as the whole family reunites together with my in-laws, there are a lot of hypocrites who sit at the same table and enjoy that family moment with us. But since I am a daughter-in-law in a Hindu family, even though I don’t have anything to do with them, I unfortunately have no other opportunities than to socialize with them like with the rest of the society during those family meetings and to please them if they wish to organize plans for us during our holidays. But frankly if I had an opportunity to avoid all that, I would have done it since a very long time. But there is another reason which retains me from doing that, and that reason is that I have a son who is growing up and being raised into that family too though we live away from them all geographically, and that my in-laws, as well as his patriarchal grandparents, my husband and I as his parents, are the only references that he has in life to be able to evaluate… and of course without forgetting also his teachers who are also his other references, but which thank God, are very sincere and professional people whom I really estimate and am thankful to for the great help they are giving into my son’s education. Sometimes, you need to express some respect by at the same time practicing hypocrisy due to some specific circumstances, such as your own interests, to protect yourself or because you need to teach some specific values to your children so that they grow up together with those good principles.

As we are talking about hypocrisy, unfortunately I noticed through experience that, in a lot of circumstances, hypocrisy and respect matched with each other and it’s a very sad fact that still exists. A quote in French attracted my attention:

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It’s translated as such: It’s better to honor the spontaneous respect and without bias, and to dishonor the hypocrite and deliberated respect, if the first one focuses on totality and the second one on a minority. Unfortunately I haven’t found anything specific where hypocrisy and respect match together, but within the Mauritian culture, unfortunately they both match together in several ethnicity. There is however an interesting article I have fished where the author demonstrates some tricks to avoid becoming an untrustworthy hypocrite with that extract which is meaningful and seems to explain that hypocrisy and respect can match together in some circumstances:

Every day you’re presented with problems and challenges to overcome, and each decision you make about how to handle them plays a significant role in how the people you rely on to trust you see you. To be seen as a hypocrite is to lose respect and trust from the people you depend on.

If you want to avoid hypocrisy in your own life, and maintain the trust you’ve worked so hard to build, then you’re in luck because much research tells us that there are at least nine different things you can do keep hypocrisy at bay as you navigate the often turbulent waters of life.

Let’s take the example of a teacher and the students, especially a teacher hated by a lot of students and who represents the main subject the students will have to learn for the final exam. I remember that when I was studying in Lycee, I had a stressful Accounts teacher, a French expatriate. Everyone hated him because he was always permanently stressed and bad-tempered. Despite all he was really passionate about his job and his subject and he was an excellent teacher. Despite the students’ hatred for him, that teacher deserved their respect through their discipline and hard work, and I may say that it’s thanks to that teacher that they could graduate.

On whatever I wrote above, there is one quote which confirms the kind of respect on which I totally disagree, especially when it comes on the gap between older and younger generations:

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It’s exactly the kind of respect that Aretha Franklin requests in the lyrics of her 1967 superhit “Respect” where she mentions about the story of a man who is financially pampered by his rich wife, but who asks of being loved and respected in return. And that is why I conclude my concept about respect through the quote below:

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My New Year 2018 Message to my Frienemies: Fireworks, Thankfulness and Forgiveness

First of all I would like to send to all my readers all my best wishes for a very happy and prosperous New Year 2018. I am actually celebrating it in Mauritius, and as usual I turn emotional when I hear all those firecrackers at midnight, as soon as we enter into the New Year. In several parts of the World, especially some public and popular places per country, there are some special events which happen for the New Year with the festival of firecrackers. Everybody knows about the firecrackers in Sydney in Australia, the Big Ben in United Kingdom, Times Square in New York, Berlin in Germany, in China, etc. But what is common with those parts of the world, as I said before, is that those fireworks are organized in the most popular public places of the country. In Mauritius though, this is not the case. In Mauritius, the whole island is illuminated and animated with the sound and light of the colorful firecrackers. I never wondered what it looked like to experience fireworks in Mauritius on video, since I have been growing up in that culture since I was born as a pure Mauritian. But during the passage from year 2017 to year 2018, while I was celebrating it with my in-laws, I saw a Drone flying high in the sky. I didn’t really understand what it was since I am not at all technology connected, but then while doing some researches on YouTube, I saw that beautiful video from the sky filming the firecrackers in Rose Hill in the district of Plaines Wilhems, in the Centre of the island. Hereunder a look about the firecrackers seen from the sky, a video which I found really beautiful and which made me proud of being a Mauritian:

Each time I see firecrackers, I don’t know why but I cannot help myself becoming emotional. This morning then, I wanted to do a few researches about the firecrackers and its History. In this article from the Ancient Origins, here are a few extracts which I found very interesting about the firecrackers:

By the 11th century there were gunpowder weapons in China and in the early 12th century, the Chinese used firecrackers and fireworks (yen huo) to celebrate a visit of the Chinese emperor. Chinese fireworks included rockets (or “earth rats” because they were fired over the ground) and wheels, coloured smoke-balls, crackers and fireworks attached to kites. They all made a “glorious noise”.

The second paragraph explains a few historic details about the usage of firecrackers and its insertion in the European continent and culture and in which context it’s used, but one of the most interesting ones mentioned in that paragraph is the festival of Nuremberg in Ancient Germany, with an illustration a man in a bright costume wearing a smoking hat on the head and an artichoke in the hand spreading firecrackers. within the framework of the Schembart Festival of the 16th century, which was considered as controversial by some politicians who were offended by the Schembart participants who were doing some pranks at them with their costumes.

In Mauritius, one of the reasons why firecrackers are important in our culture dates from an Ancient Chinese Folklore, which is the legend of Nian, a monster who manifested before the beginning of Spring in China and who devastated humanity and all what it could destroy. The only way to repulse that monster was to light firecrackers. Since now for the Chinese Spring Festival, the folklore keeps on going on every year during the Chinese Spring Festival and was also adapted within the Mauritian culture, since we still believe nowadays that lightning firecrackers at midnight for the New Year removes all the negativity of the past year and welcomes the positiveness of the forthcoming new year. But there is also a much less known but very interesting festival which welcomes the venue of firecrackers, the festival of Thrissur pooram in Kerala, India, described in Wikipedia as “an annual Hindu temple festival held in Kerala, India. It is held at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur every year on the Pooram day – the day when the moon rises with the Pooram star in the Malayalam Calendar month of Medam“, the Medam being from the 16th April to the 15th May of every year in the Western Calendar.

Seeing all those details, I meditated a lot on the effect of the fireworks and how it made me at the same time positive and emotional each time that we enter a brand new year. I am not the kind of the person who believes in New Year Resolutions, but this year I decided to forgive after such a long time.I decided to make of the New Year 2018 my special Year of Forgiveness, which however has nothing to do with the definition of the Year of Forgiveness explained in Christianity. I was in a mood today where after a long time, I decided to forgive all my enemies and frenemies, because they all destroyed me, but in return, without expecting it, they opened for me new doors and new opportunities that were offered to me and which they would never expect me to embrace one day. There is especially a quote which I really appreciated and which motivated me about the year of forgiveness:

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So meditating on that quote, I would like to list the categories of people and some specific people whom I would like to forgive and let go this year and to wish them a very happy New Year 2018 with a sincere heart. Saying that, I would like to dedicate an old song from Katy Perry, for which the lyrics and the video clip completely inspired me to write that blog post. I think that you have all seen the music video of Fireworks, where there were so many broken people including Katy Perry herself, who decided to get away from the past and to live their lives anew by spreading fireworks from their chests? But here-under I am sharing with you all the lyric video of Fireworks, since the images and lyrics are really inspirational and would be a perfect New Year Message:

One of the extracts which especially touched my heart says, I quote,

May be a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

Then I came to understand that the reason why all doors were closed for me was that I was unable to forgive those who hurt me so much, and which made that I keep all the time living in the past instead of living in the present or in the future. Also, this year I decided to forgive, to let go and to take a new departure, since I turned 37 years old in 2017 and since in this blog post, I obtained the number one as per described in numerology as the number of a new beginning in my life.

I decided, first of all, to forgive my toxic parents, a narcissistic mother and a passive and absent father. Thanks to the abuse that they did on me, they opened the door they would never expect me to experiment one day by marrying someone who doesn’t match at all with their choice, but which is giving me a satisfactory life where I am not missing anything, where I am slowly but surely and carefully building my social network and life in real life like in virtual, and where I drastically changed for the best even though it has been and it is still an extreme hard work. I decided to forgive my mother, who thought that by giving me her name Uma in addition to birth, she would make of me her photocopy and dirty Maha Shakti’s name and reputation under her Kali Avatar in her negative aspect. Instead, she made me discovering that Uma was a sacred name and that each woman should be like a Shakti in her home and a fighter at the image of a Jansi Ki Rani, as per described in a very beautiful speech made in Creole during the elections of year 2014 in Mauritius, where the speaker, Sandhya Bhoygah, was severely denouncing the lack of respect of our ex-Prime Minister against young girls and some women of the country, but also how, for money and power, some women ashamed and tarnished the Mauritian womanhood under the influence of that controversial Prime Minister. When I came to konw about the value of my name Uma, I decided to thank my mother for having given me that name, and I decided to forgive her since she gave me an opportunity to give to that name the blessed image of Goddess Parvati and no more the destructive and negative Tantric aspect of Maha Kali that my mother used to worship to destroy people.

I would like to forgive my sister-in-law, who is my husband’s young brother’s wife. She is the one who is behind so many controversial divisions she created together with my mother to endanger my marriage preparations with my husband, since she never wanted me to enter the family and instead preferred having her elder sister to enter into the family at my place. For so many years she destroyed a lot of things in the family and imposed her conditions despite being a daughter-in-law, but without realizing it, she helped me into getting away from my toxic parents forever, especially my mother, who was her number one complicit into dividing both my husband and me, and who now turned into one of my sister-in-law’s worst enemies. Thanks to her controversies, she encouraged both my husband and I to take our distance from not only my family but also my in-laws, not only morally, but even geographically, since my husband got new and better job opportunities overseas and since it allowed us to have a much better life than we would have surrounded all the time with my in-laws in Mauritius. Because of her divisions, she encouraged us to go, and this for better horizons, and for that not only do I thank her, but I also forgive her and wish her a Happy New Year.

I would like to thank and to forgive some of the in-laws who hated me and who still hate me since I come from a very rich and influential family and refused to understand that money doesn’t buy happiness. Those same people who hated me today are still the same ones to whom I am opening the door of my house and inviting to my table together with my family to eat and to drink. Those same people also hate both me and my mother-in-law since we are both cousins and since my marriage with my husband is an inbred one and made them gossiping that my mother-in-law would prefer me to my sister-in-law since we are cousins. But the fact that I left the country and gave high space for my sister-in-law and her family got everyone disconcerted my in-laws and made some of them discovering my sister-in-law’s true colors, but also my own true colors as someone humble who understands life despite my fortune and who understands the true meaning of family rules. For having misjudging both me and my mother-in-law for what we are not, I would like to thank and to forgive them since those same people belong to the category of dividers, the kind of people who don’t like unity and who love messing everywhere thanks to their short mind and gossips.

I would also like to thank another category of people who confuse division and diversity and who don’t understand the concept of unity. Among them there was someone whose ego was so strong that he felt suddenly endangered when he came to discover that he had a tough adversary. But that person who felt in danger wanted to monopolize everything and to be the only perfect Mauritian everyone should follow, an attention seeker and a narcissistic and divisive person who never wanted to give anyone the chance to be oneself but who wanted to brainwash everyone to remold them only at his image. Thanks to that narcissist, whom I came to discover the true colors and whom I had serious troubles with a couple of years ago, I came to acknowledge his famous adversary and that this adversary was someone who really understood the concept of the “we” instead of the “I” since he believes in unity within diversity and not unity within division.

I would like to thank and forgive some people among my in-laws who divided me from my family even though my family was wrong in a lot of aspects in their relationship with my in-laws and with myself, and didn’t behave properly towards my in-laws nor towards myself. I would like to thank and forgive them because though I kept silent and cried secretly all those years for having been parted away from my family because of those in-laws’ gossips and pressures, those same people indirectly taught me the famous law of karma which mentions that what comes round goes round, since at their turn they are experimenting in their own lives the same sorrows they wished to me, but which me in return, I never wished them, even in my worst moments of anger and sadness and despite all the bitter tears of blood I have been spreading because of them, since it was MY DECISION to stay away from those family members of mine who failed in having a good relationship with my in-laws, and NOT MY IN-LAWS to decide whether I should have stayed away from my family, especially my parents, even though I recognize that I have toxic parents and come from a dysfunctional and messy family.

I would like also to thank and to forgive all those who refused to help me when I was in need, those who were absent when I needed them the most, and the ones who “helped” me in disguise of a “coup de pied” (foot kick in the ass!) instead of a “coup de main” (helping hand), and who were people who pretended to help me but who were making me passing for an incapable in front of everyone, who kept on underestimating me all the time on my capacities and responsibilities, who kept on criticizing me and seeing everything wrong in all what I was saying and doing, and those same people who helped me to get all the awards and honors from their surroundings and making me passing for a zero. Thanks to them, I moved my way away from them, fought very hard most of the time on my own to be able to do something and turned slowly but surely from the handicapped caterpillar caught prisoner in its cocoon into a radiant butterfly. There was a blog post where I wrote about someone who wanted to “help” a caterpillar getting away from its cocoon instead of letting Mother Nature doing her job. By helping the caterpillar, when it went out of the cocoon it turned frail and was unable to grow up healthily, and it died. This was that kind of help “coup de pied” that I have exactly had in the past, but God was great to me and healed me with time, and I am slowly but surely recovering from my injuries of that toxic help and turning little by little into the radiant butterfly I want to become since I moved away from those so-called helpers and imposed my law, rights and conditions on them bravely and courageously.

I would like to thank and to forgive all those incapable and toxic teachers at school, in university and in real life who mislead me, since thanks to them, I came to understand that I could count only on myself and not on anyone else, and since they arose my curiosity on all the things I said and encouraged me to justify their words by doing my own researches myself and proving them wrong through my results. One of 6 the worst teachers I have experienced in life was a teacher I had when I was 6 years old and who always bullied me and menaced to put me as the last child of the class since I was shy and lacked confidence with myself. I succeeded into telling her my four truths before I took part in my final baccalaureate exams, and kept grudge against her for years, but today I decided to forgive her and to thank her for her bullies, since she contributed into spoiling her own reputation by her own fault because of her ego and arrogance, and since she made me discovering that I wasn’t finally that idiot, since I have a true thirst for culture and knowledge today 🙂

I would like to thank also all those who bullied me since I was born, either in my family, at school, in university, in church or any other kinds of society I evolved since I was born, since they always made fun of me and mocked me, but are being banged by Karma in return for some of them in their own lives, or are today discovering how, from their ugly duckling, I turned into the swan that was hiding in me and am doing my way for turning into a unicorn for having a personality of my own, regardless to the bullies, mocking and negative critics and judgments from others and which today are making me completely indifferent towards them, and more and more confident and in love with myself. Thank you so much Sinon Loresca Jr. for that beautiful lesson of using the bullies from others against you to fall in love with yourself and with life!

I would like to thank and forgive all the people who also discriminated me at the profit of other people, and who belong to the same category of people who let me down when I needed help at the weakest part of my life. They also belong to the category of people who will reject you because you are different from the rest of the gang and who use your difference for making of you the black sheep of a group or the ugly duckling of the group. But thanks to their discrimination, those people taught me that they didn’t reject me because I wasn’t good enough for them, but they taught me that they rejected me because I was different and that there were other opportunities which were better for me and for which they would never fit in, and which explains that every human should have the unicorn spirit for which you are born original and shouldn’t die as a copy.

Finally, I would like to thank all the elegant monsters who showed themselves with masks of hypocrisy towards me but who finally showed me their true colors at the example of that individual who made me discovery his adversary who believed in unity within diversity, or those who pretended to befriend me, but who acted as frienemies to me and stabbed me at the back shamelessly behind their ugly masks full of heavy make-up. Most of them unfortunately are part of my own family, who fished a lot of information from me when my relationship with my parents torn apart after my marriage, not because they wanted to support me, but because they pretended to befriend me only to collect all information from me to share them back to my parents since they were totally complicit with my parents. Those same elegant monsters remind me a lot about Rachel from the movie “My Cousin Rachel” or the sulfurous Catherine Tramel from “Basic Instinct 2” and I came to discover from those so-called relatives that they were all complexed and mentally sick people and minds hiding behind elegance and heavy make-up.

Also, to all those whom I thanked, forgave and wished Happy New Year 2018… Let’s begin that brand new year… And let the game of karma start 🙂 Tchin Tchin!

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The shelling of the Story of Nativity and its incredible coincidences with Paganism and Ancient Egypt

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As I am a big fan of Ancient Origins, I subscribed myself to a website which is called “Ancient Origins” and I wanted to seize the opportunity of the Christmas festivities to reconstitute the origins of Christmas through a blog post recapitulating several interesting facts that I have found on the origins of Christmas thanks to that website. All of us know that Christmas, for Christians, means the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ whereas for non Christians, it’s a very special tradition made with Christmas tree, Santa Claus and His Santa Helpers, the arrival of Winter, good food during family meetings, distribution of gifts to your loved ones and especially to children and a special thought especially for the vulnerable society including the poor, the elderly and the disabled among all of them. But do we REALLY know the origins of Christmas? Is Christmas REALLY linked with Jesus Christ’s birth, since there were some sources stipulating that he was not born in December? It would be interesting for us to discover more about the tradition of Christmas. I did several researches on Ancient Origins, and I would like to propose you a recapitulation of some interesting points to remember regarding the Christmas celebration.

It would take me a long expose in that blog to describe Christmas, since there were so many interesting stuffs I discovered in those sites and which I won’t be able to post in one single blog post. This one, for example, turns around the Nativity and the Birth of Jesus Christ, and what we should understand behind it and as per the interpretation of the Holy Bible in comparison with the interpretation of the Ancient Times. if I would like to write that blog post also, it’s because according to some press articles I have discovered thanks to a friend of mine, several countries in Europe banned and removed the traditional Christmas crib, which is a part of the tradition in most of those countries which follow Roman Catholicism. Because of the increasing number of migrants invading those countries and unfortunately applying their own rules instead of respecting and applying the rules of their new homeland, those countries completely turned upside down, mostly by the fault of their government who tolerates those migrants much more than their own citizens. I hope that through that blog post, I can contribute into teaching and reminding to the maximum people the true roots of Christmas and its place within religion, not only within Christianity, but also in all other religions of the world.

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First of all, where do the very first origins of Christmas come from? This article is first of all proposing to us an interesting book to purchase and to read from author Joseph F. Kelly, entitled “The Origins of Christmas”, where we may find some interesting stuffs in other articles about it until we acknowledge containing of that book. In this one for example, a British physician, chose to celebrate Christmas as per the Medieval Times. Here is an extract explaining the importance of the pilgrimage of the Medieval Travelers during Christmas time which is worth to be meditate about: “Pilgrimages were sometimes local affairs, or they could be epic voyages across land and sea. These trips, sometimes dangerous, were taken up as a test of the pilgrim’s faith. Medieval pilgrimages were a way of life, and initially an involved practice that took travelers to Christian sites connected to the life of Jesus—especially Holy Land destinations such as Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem, some 3,000 miles (4800 kilometers) away from Europe. As time went on, pilgrimages were done closer to home to see relics and places of martyrs and saints, becoming the first holidays (holy days) taken by Medieval people.

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His pilgrimage is very original and completely differentiates from the idea that we all have regarding the nativity. We all know about the Nativity scene described as per the Holy Bible, when Mother Mary gave birth to our Lord Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem. When Jesus was born, there was a shining star in the sky that the Shepherds saw and which was announcing the birth of the Messiah. After Jesus was born, three Kings saw the little angel and bent down in front of Him with precious gifts such as myrrh, cherubim and seraph. This is the scene that is reconstituted every year in most part of Roman Catholic countries.

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However, this article gives a completely different description about that Holy Star, which completely contradicts the Nativity scene that we all know, and considered as the celebration of the Winter Solstice: “Rooted in the cyclical pagan year, Christmas can be linked back to the celebration of the Winter Solstice around December 21st, a time when the night was at its longest, and the coming of the “light” was celebrated and revered. New hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World, all represented the end point of one natural cycle, and beginning of another. The Solstice may have been the longest and darkest of days and nights, but from that point on, there would be more light and the promise of a coming spring.” Another article stipulates about the mystery of that Nativity star. According to the Holy Bible, the star guided the three wise men to the manger where Jesus was born. The Star was in the East Side, whereas the three wise men were taking a South route to Jerusalem. And what was strange was that the Star was guiding the three wise men to the South, whereas it was a star of the East. How could it be? In that article, one paragraph could perhaps explain that phenomenon:

If Matthew’s wise men actually undertook a journey to search for a newborn king, the bright star didn’t guide them; it only told them when to set out. And they wouldn’t have found an infant swaddled in a manger. After all, the baby was already eight months old by the time they decoded the astrological message they believed predicted the birth of a future king. The portent began on April 17 of 6 BC (with the heliacal rising of Jupiter that morning, followed, at noon, by its lunar occultation in the constellation Aries) and lasted until December 19 of 6 BC (when Jupiter stopped moving to the west, stood still briefly, and began moving to the east, as compared with the fixed background stars). By the earliest time the men could have arrived in Bethlehem, the baby Jesus would likely have been at least a toddler.

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What about the birth of Jesus? As per the Holy Bible, Mother Mary was still Virgin when she was pregnant of Jesus Christ, after the Archangel Gabriel came to her and spread a message to Her regarding the birth of the Lord. The word Virgin was always interpreted as someone who never had any sexual intercourse with anyone in the past, including one’s marital partner. However, the paragraphs here-under give a completely different version of the interpretation of the word Virgin, and describe the Mother Mary in a completely different personality, as someone who doesn’t need a lover nor a partner besides her, who is mentally strong and totally independent, in total contrast with the Virgin Mary known in the Christianity:

The greatest misunderstanding in the Virgin Mary’s story comes from a mistake in translation. It is common for translations to be based on former translations and the meaning behind words is often decoded by specialists in specific languages. Moreover, many translations were made of this story based on dictionaries created by specialists in Latin – which is the key to the mystery behind the word ”virgin”.

The word ”virgin” comes from the Latin ”virgo”, which means ”maiden” or a sexually inexperienced woman. This word was the basis for the stories about Mary as a woman who had never had intercourse with a man.

However, historically the term virgin meant ”one-in-herself” – a woman who didn’t need a man. It didn’t necessarily mean that she didn’t have one, however. This interpretation better represents a woman who was independent, financially free, mentally strong, and not overly dependent on her lover or partner.

In ancient times, women were sometimes believed to be very strongly attached or even mentally addicted to their first sexual partner. Therefore, to avoid this problem, an ancient society of the Mediterranean area (and also other parts of the Middle East and Persia) decided to create a custom which became a part of religious ceremonies.

It was once common for women in these locations to go to the temples of Ishtar or Aphrodite, for example, to have sexual intercourse with the priest. They could never meet again, but this act, which was seemingly approved of by the goddess of the temple, allowed the woman to avoid becoming too attached to her lover. The visit in the temple was usually a suggestion given by her family and it was not seen as a betrayal or scandal.

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Another article stipulates another coincidence with the Winter Solstice, alike the case of the Star, assimilating Jesus Christ to the pagan Green Man. Who was that famous Green Man? Here is the answer below from that article about the Pagan myth of the Green Man:

The legend of the Goddess and Green Man then skips to the Vernal Equinox, when the Green Man is ready to finally emerge from the womb of his mother. This is the time when the “male” light equals the “female” darkness, and their male-female polarity fully unites to produce a fresh infusion of life force to cover and fertilize the land. The fetal body of the Green Man is now ready to push out of the womb of his mother Earth in the form of the new tender sprouts of spring. Soon, his annual resurrection will be complete. This will occur on or around the same day as our Easter, a modern holiday associated with the much more recent resurrection of another Son of a virgin. 

The legend of the Green Man then covers the hot summer months, when the Son rapidly matures as the rapidly maturing vegetative growth of nature. He matures so fast, in fact, that the Green Man not only becomes One with his Father in Heaven, but he even mates with and inseminates his own mother. Their co-habitation produces a second infusion of the fructifying life force on Earth and manifests as a second proliferation of vegetation and accompanying harvest. Ultimately, this event would serve to hasten the Green Man’s demise, and soon he would die again with the decaying vegetation and the falling of leaves of autumn. The cause of his death? The sacerdotal interpreters of his legend would later assert that it occurred because of the sins of humanity. It was believed through original sin humanity had given up not only its own right, but the right of all life on Earth, to achieve eternal life.

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The Nativity Scene always represented Jesus as a newborn baby in a manger, surrounded by His parents Joseph and Mary, the donkey Mary was riding, a few animals and the Three Kings. But some sources mentioned that this Nativity scene wasn’t the first one. This article for example revealed the existence of a Nativity Scene which happened 3000 years ago before Jesus’s birth. By coincidence, the Nativity Scene, which was an Egyptian scene and the oldest one of the world, showed the same details that we find in the nativity scene that everyone knows, with a man and a woman surrounding a newborn baby, and a couple of animals around them. However, there were not the Three Kings. What if the nativity scene that everyone knows could have been inspired from that one from Egypt to represent Jesus’s birth? And another coincidence is that after Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had to seek refuge in Egypt since the King Herod menaced to kill all male children under age of 2 since one of them would be the new Messiah at his place. Is there a link between those two nativities? In that thesis, here is the conclusion formulated by the author regarding the possible link between the Egyptian and Christian nativity scenes, which is worth to be considered:

To ignore in the analysis of the ultimate “King of Kings” these important Egyptian divine-birth scenes – which feature prominently in the human psyche of the time vis-à-vis important rulers – ranks as an egregious error. As are numerous other aspects of Egyptian religion and culture relevant to the study of Christian origins, the Egyptian birth scenes are highly germane to the study of the Christian nativity. The Egyptian religion remained a huge force to be reckoned with by the time of the Christian effort, and it simply would not have been ignored – indeed, it was not.

Prior to the creation of the gospels, the Egyptian religion had long spread far beyond the confines of Egypt, and there were Egyptian tutors at Rome, teaching the religion to emperors during the first century, along with shrines to Egyptian gods in as farflung places as Macedonia and Great Britain. Isis was hugely popular around the Roman Empire at the time, but long previously there had been in Israel Egyptian forces who left vestiges of their worship over the centuries. In a thorough analysis, we need to factor in all of this Egyptian influence and the proximity of this massively impressive culture to the area of the gospel tale.

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Another character who should not be ignored either, the character of Joseph. This article simply describes Joseph as Mary’s husband but the description of his character in that extract is very interesting:

If a type is to be sought in the character of Joseph, it is that of a simple, honest, hard-working, God-fearing man, who was possessed of large sympathies and a warm heart. Strict in the observance of Jewish law and custom, he was yet ready when occasion arose to make these subservient to the greater law of the Spirit. Too practical to possess any deep insight into the Divine mysteries or eternal significance of events which came within his knowledge (compare Luke 2:50), he was quick to make answer to what he perceived to be the direct call of God (compare Matthew 1:24). Originally a “just man” (the King James Version), the natural clemency within his heart prevailed over mere justice, and by the promptings of the Holy Spirit that clemency was transferred into a strong and enduring love (compare Matthew 1:24). Joseph is known to us only as a dim figure in the background of the Gospel narratives, yet his whole-hearted reconciliation to Mary, even in the face of possible slanderings by his neighbors, his complete self-sacrifice, when he left all and fled into Egypt to save the infant Jesus, are indicative that he was not unworthy to fulfill the great trust which was imposed upon him by the Eternal Father.

This character should not be confused with another Joseph featuring in the Old Testament, and who is known for his coat of many colors. By coincidence though, we find in his story another link with Egypt, since in this synopsis, Joseph is described as Jacob’s son and was the only good son of Jacob whereas all his other brothers were rogues. They wanted to get rid of Joseph since he was loyal to their father and always informed his father when his brothers were misbehaving. Joseph was then sent as a slave to Egypt and though being a hardworking and honest person at the service of the Pharaoh, the Pharaoh’s wife fell for Joseph and attracted him, which made the Pharaoh angry and sent Joseph to prison. While in prison, he was having some strange dreams about famine which would ruin Egypt for seven years, since he had seven dreams. Those dreams he had came from the power of his technicolor coat, which had some magical powers, and the Pharaoh decided to give Joseph a second chance thanks to his dream interpretations and to nominate him as a government worker, with the responsibility of storing food for the hard times. The coincidence is that, as well as that Joseph had some strange dreams about famine in Egypt during his exile there, Joseph as husband of Mary also had dreams through archangel Gabriel announcing the birth of the Savior. The second coincidence was that Joseph husband of Mary had to seek refuge in Egypt with Mary during King Herod’s menace of killing all those children under 2, and that they had to wait for King Herod’s death before bringing back Jesus to Israel.

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Here is another detail which should not be forgotten: the fact that Joseph and Mary had no place to stay to deliver the baby. Some interpretations mentioned that everyone rejected them and refused to give them hospitality. However, there is an article which denies that fact and which mentions instead that all homes were too busy to welcome them: To be “turned away” is not really the same as being “rejected.” The inns were full. There wasn’t a value judgment involved on the part of the innkeepers; they simply had no room. I think Luke adds this detail to emphasize the deceptively lowly birth of Jesus. Metaphysically, it suggests that we can’t expect the world around us to acknowledge the birth of Christ awareness in us. In a world busy with its own priorities, a spiritual birth may seem insignificant. But we know how important it is. I’m sure Mary and Joseph felt no sense of rejection or negative judgment. They were grateful and appreciative for the healthy birth. And, as is always the case when we are One with the divine, it happened at the perfect time and place. This explanation is worth being the subject of another debate regarding the difference between to be turned away and to be rejected, and which may be the subject of another blog post later.

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Finally, regarding those three Magi who came to know about Christ’s birth by following the star, there are not really some concrete explanations which could justify their knowledge about Jesus’s birth. But the article here shows us a very good lesson about those Wise Men. Here is an extract which is worth to be explained about them:

With these prophesies now fulfilled, it is easy for us to look back and understand the Scripture that revealed Jesus’ time and place of birth.  However, we know that hindsight is always clearer than foresight, so it causes us to wonder how the Wise Men/Magi could have understood the prophecies. 

The Bible does not explicitly tell us, but it is clear that the wise men did understand them well enough to know to follow “His star” and to believe that this Child was the promised King of the Jews (the Promised Messiah).  Perhaps Daniel had opened the Scriptures to the magi of his time.  Perhaps through the Scriptures and Daniel’s testimony, these men came to fear the Lord and we know that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov 1:7) and “the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 9:10).  This “fear” is a reverence, respect, and trust of the Lord and His revealed will.

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The conclusion of that article is also worth to be considered and meditated about: The Christmas lesson that we can learn from the Wise Men/Magi is that we, too, must trust in what God has said in His Word.  He gives us wisdom, just as He gave it to the Magi.  The Magi were Wise Men who believed God and His Word and acted accordingly.  Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect on the greatest gift God gave to mankind when He sent His son into the world.  It is a great time to examine our hearts and ask ourselves if we are wise men?  Before the Christmas celebration, I remember I shared a Christmas greeting to a friend of mine, who is at the Head of a local NGO in my country, and who very often organizes some charity activities. Among them, they regularly organize distribution of clothes to the poor, and when I wished him Merry Christmas, I assimilated the act of kindness and generosity of his NGO members to the one of the Three Wise Men towards Jesus, since thanks to their generosity, Jesus became a Master for the Universe, and that regarding that NGO, through their same generosity towards the poor, they can rise today a next Messiah for our country, why not?

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In conclusion, even though there are links of those Nativity scenes connected with Paganism and Ancient Egypt, it’s a proof that everything connects, and the sole message behind those connections is that regardless to the times, culture, religion or era, at any time a Messiah can take birth and be an inspiration for the world, thanks to the sharing and caring he or she will be given by some generous people of different walks of life. My friend posted something very interesting on his social platforms: Happy Birthday Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Isaac Newton and of course, Jesus. Merry Christmas. I’m thankful to my friend for having posted that on his wall. Everyone knows about Jesus, but what about those other people? Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is India’s Former Prime Minister and who turned 93 years old this year, was known for having brought 5 major changes in India, which include the construction of roads connecting Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai and known as the Golden Quadrilateral, for the Reining of the Fiscal profligacy, the Telecom revolution, the Sharva Shiksha Abhiyan which was a social scheme to promote education for non scholarised children and the privatisation of some sectors. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan and this article describes his greatest achievement of having found the nation of Pakistan: The political insight and wisdom that the Quaid demonstrated in achieving a homeland on the argument of Muslims being a separate nation has yet to be fully grasped. In this regard, I have yet to come across a more comprehensive tribute to the Quaid’s visionary leadership than what renowned historian Stanley Wolpert wrote in his famous book ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’: “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Sir Isaac Newton was a key figure into the Scientific Revolution, which is described in Wikipedia as “a concept used by historians to describe the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematicsphysicsastronomybiology (including human anatomy) and chemistry transformed the views of society about nature.” Sir Isaac Newton was especially known for his law of gravitation stating that “a particle attracts every other particle in the universe using a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.” What is very interesting is that those four people were born on 25th December, though some statements still cannot retrace if Jesus Christ was exactly born on the 25th December, but what those four people have in common is that they are all four strong change makers and sources of inspiration for the world according to their respective achievements, all of them coming from different eras of time. Who knows if they are incarnations of each other as well? Unfortunately no sources stipulate about that possibility, but one thing is sure, they made of the 25th December a very special day for the world as true visionaries of our humanity.

Here are the true reasons why I chose to write under a pseudonym instead of my real name

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I never thought about having the idea of writing that blog post today, but I would like to thank someone very special for having given me so many inspiration a couple of days earlier to write it, with a very particular trait though: This person is a HATER, the second one whom I am facing since my LinkedIn profile Ekasringa Avatar exists, since the first one was a compatriot of mine, an arrogant woman (she doesn’t even deserve I call her a lady!) who thought that because she is living overseas, she can do whatever she wants and auto-proclaim herself for someone she isn’t in her own country; this is one of the kind of people that I truly hate and I didn’t hesitate, at a moment, to humiliate her publicly on LinkedIn before blocking her forever (yes, I can be very infernal and cruel when my limit is reached and that I cannot bear it anymore with that kind of people!). Unfortunately, I don’t have the full history of that conversation with my second hater, since I deleted it, but I regret I didn’t think about restoring it or archiving it. This person doesn’t know me at all and was just someone who visited my profile. Usually, each time that I have a new visitor visiting my LinkedIn profile, I receive a notification, and I invite him or her to be part of my network, even though there is no direct interaction with the person. I admit that I still am part of those people who judge on quantity instead of quality of the people whom I connect with, even though I passed through so many experiences which knocked me down about people, but I don’t care, since my profile is an open door to anyone of all sorts of walks of life, and not only writers, editors, translators nor anyone who would be part of the literary world I belong to, and who would like to know more about me. For the moment, apart that compatriot of mine who came to know whom she would have affair with after the way I put her back at her place on that day, I didn’t have any major problems with anyone, but I haven’t been at all prepared to that kind of sarcasm from a newly added contact. Even though I don’t have the history of the “conversation” we had (if we can call that a conversation indeed!), here is an extract of the way he sent me the message, exactly as it appears in my gmail:

Thanks for the invitation Ekasringa, good to be connected (please be informed that your real identity is hidden which is of course a problem, and, you have a Black Nobility black horse – maybe the… see more

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First of all, that person is stipulating that my real identity is hidden and that it’s a problem according to him. I remember that a few people asked me why I don’t post my own profile picture and why I don’t put my real name, and instead a pseudonym. Frankly speaking, I don’t see at all what’s wrong with it, nor how I am disturbing all those people because I chose to hide my true identity and put a pseudonym. I am not the only one who chose to do this, and there are so many of my contacts who appear also under a pseudonym, and that never disturbed me at all. There are also so many singers and actors who chose to launch their career under a pseudonym instead of their true name, so why wouldn’t I have that same right too as an aspiring author? I haven’t created that LinkedIn profile in the aim of receiving opportunities for my career or to find a job, but only to allow to the maximum people who would visit my profile sooner or later a clue of my own personality and of all my interests which you will all retrieve through all the posts that I like, share, comment and publish on my LinkedIn, and also through all the articles I write and publish on WordPress and in all my social platforms. I also am on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+, and the stuffs that I share on my other social platforms already should give to my visitors and followers a clue of my personality and of several things on which I am interested. As an aspiring writer, it’s my duty to have a career based on an open mind, which would allow me to discover the world in a new way which is proper to me and which may totally or partially different from the way other people see it, since I don’t want to be a blind follower for anyone. The reason also why I chose to launch my career under a pseudonym instead of my own name is a choice that I personally made for myself, since I would like my pseudonym to be a brand one day, not only for the work that I am already doing on my blog, but also a brand for other projects that I wish one day I will be able to do, and which are childhood dreams I would like to concrete after so many years of incertitude with myself, since at 37 years old I decided to make of that age, as well of year 2017, a year of challenge for me, where I would like to do things I could never do before, and not allow my own sacrifices and responsibilities as a spouse, housewife and mother banning me from the dreams I want to create as long as I will be alive. In another blog post, I will explain in more details which of those dreams I would like to concrete in addition to all the work dedicated to that blog. Another reason explaining why I chose a pseudonym is that, as a spouse and a mother, through all my past experiences, I have been taught a very tough life lesson that I need to apply if I really want things to be balanced: I need to keep my real identity only for all the things that I do out of what I represent as Ekasringa Avatar, and which is the series of daily chores and routine of my day-to-day life as a mother, a spouse, a daughter-in-law, a neighbor in my locality, a simple citizen in my country and a simple expatriate in the country I live in. I don’t want to become a fame, since I want to lead an ordinary life like everyone, with only the hope to earn money through my blog and through my projects as Ekasringa Avatar, not to become a millionaire, not either to help my husband in the expenses for the household, nor for our child’s education, but simply to have my freedom and my dignity as a woman. My mother-in-law’s words always sound loud in my mind, since she always wanted me to work from home to avoid my husband spending money for me too, since life in general is becoming more expensive and that I can be completely independent, and at the same time remove a burden from my husband’s shoulders, since he is the only bread holder of the family. My pseudonym Ekasringa Avatar, I keep it only for my social platforms on the net and for my blog, even though all the stuffs I shared on my LinkedIn profile regarding my qualifications and professional experiences are real and the dates also are real. I also did a few researches regarding some writers who wrote under pen names and pseudonyms which were different from their true identity. In this article for example, some writers used pen names for different reasons linked with family and from society. Voltaire for example, whose real name is Francois-Marie Arouet, chose the nickname Voltaire to move away from his past, from his family and since some of his writings were against the government. This article also stipulates six good reasons why some writers write under a different pen name, and that extract suits my reasons mostly:

Your Real Name

Imagine your real name is Stephen King, Nora Roberts, or Ron Hubbard. Anyone picking up a book that you write is going to have a lot of certain expectations about the words inside. You know you’re not the next Stephen King, but if reading his books has sparked an interest in horror novels, will have to publish under another name to be taken seriously. Other names are so common that it’s hard to tell them apart. Her name is John Doe, Jim Smith, Sue Jones, or one of hundreds of other similar names, pen name may be the only way you can set yourself above the crowd. When you publish a book, you wanted to be memorable. If your name fades into the background, it will be hard for readers to remember you the next time they look for a book.

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Now let’s come on the fact that I have put a black horse as a profile picture. First of all, let me tell that Mister Hater that it’s not a HORSE but a UNICORN which is represented as a profile picture. That Unicorn was a temporary tattoo that I made on my hand one day while I was at the shopping mall with my family, but which unfortunately didn’t last long on my skin since it was removed with water and soap a couple of hours later while I was under the shower. But I am very happy I could keep a souvenir of that tattoo through that picture. What makes me laughing also is when he said that it was the Black Nobility black horse. Curious, since I never thought about it and since for me, the Horse always represented something positive, since as a Hindu, I worship Lord Vishnu who is the conservator and the second God of the Hindu Trilogy after Brahma the Creator and before Shiva the Destroyer. In Hinduism, some of the Gods also appear in different avatars, and one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu is the Horse Head God Hayagriva, whose I wrote more details about Him in that blog post. For me, regardless to the color of the horse, however it may be of an immaculate white like Pegasus as well as pure Ebony like the horse Black Beauty like in the movie dated 1994 having the same name, a horse is a horse and still represents the conquering of the man. Regarding the Black Nobility, that was TOTALLY NEWS for me to hear such an expression, and as I am curious, I did some researches and found an article for which the first sentence completely shocked me, mentioning that, I quote, “These people earned the title of “Black” nobility from their ruthless lack of scruple. They employed murder, rape, kidnapping, assassination, robbery, and all manner of deceit on a grand scale, brooking no opposition to attaining their objectives. These all have immense wealth. And money is power.” I cannot help myself smiling, because there again, that hater, whom I never heard about before and innocently added on my list of contacts since I noticed he visited my profile, really lost his head and accused me of something which is completely wrong and which is completely news for me since I never heard about the Black Nobility before. Then, he assimilated the Black Horse as the symbol of the Black Nobility. According to my researches, I saw that extract from an ebook entitled “They didn’t Listen, they didn’t Know How” from Olwen Davies where the Black Horse was effectively described as the symbol of the Black Nobility since it represented the symbol of Banking called the Lloyd’s Black Horse, and I saw that the author partly assimilated that symbol as well with the Freemasonry. But since I am not familiar with the world of banking, I didn’t get along for a long time on those details, but another article interested me more, the symbol of the black horse being the symbol of “Mystery, death, night, secret, messenger of esoteric knowledge” for which I linked that article mostly linked with Hinduism, since it’s mostly linked with my religion. The last part of the black horse being the messenger of the esoteric knowledge interested me a lot and I admit that it’s applicable to me as well. I have had so many interesting discussions about esoteric knowledge with a British French friend of mine on a lot of mysteries and secrets which are still being unfolded and which concern the concept of our universe and spirituality, and which I may write about very soon.

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But here, even though I opened a bracket about the Black Nobility and the Black Horse, I would like to tell to that imbecile that those explanations have absolutely NO LINK with me and that he was completely out of subject. He should have done some researches about my name before insulting me, and if he did his researches properly, even though most of his researches will stipulate that it’s the name of an equestrian circus team from Quebec in Canada, he would also have seen the ancient scriptures from the Indus Valley and do more researches about the legend of the sage Rishyasringa, who was born with a horn on the forehead. But instead, that imbecile had a first impression which had nothing to do with my image nor with what I want to share to my followers through all the things that I do and that I write as Ekasringa Avatar. Nonetheless, I have shelled a few extracts on Google regarding the meaning of the Black Unicorn featuring as my cover picture, and I have discovered a lot of interesting things where I retrieved myself:

“The Black Unicorn is a collection of poems by a woman who, Adrienne Rich writes, “for the complexity of her vision, for her moral courage and the catalytic passion of her language, has already become, for many, an indispensable poet.” (Source: The Black Unicorn | W. W. Norton & Company)

“The way that I understand it, unicorns symbolize the spirit of purity, innocence, and childhood. Almost every traditional legend containing the unicorn states that only a young pure female could attract a unicorn to become visible and be of this reality.” (Source: The Meaning of Unicorns)

“Unicorns are unique, mystical, peaceful, and serene animals. Some unicorn tattoos show a cross between a unicorn and a Pegasus (winged horse). At its core, the symbolism of a unicorn tattoo is a message of innocence, purity of heart, kindness, healing, perfection, and peace.” (Source: Fantasy Tattoo Symbolism | Underground Ink CNY)

“The black unicorn is associated with power to overcome all the barriers that you meet in your way of perfect life. You are riding on, walking or flying with an unicorn in the dream – Means that you are tired because of the worries or hard work, or painful experiences.” (Source: Unicorn dream meaning – Dreams Nest)

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Another blog post will also be written soon, since I discovered an article on the Black Unicorn Apparition, since it made me thinking especially about the Gods’ and Saints’ skin color, some as dark skinned and some as fair skinned.

I apologize for having been bulky in that blog post, but I am very happy I could write all those lines and do all those researches, and I would like from the bottom of my heart, to thank that new frenemy of mine to have allowed me to write that blog post, though he blocked me from his list after I have put him back at his place for his sarcasm against me. I wish though I had kept that conversation to share it with you, but I think the first words of his message were more than enough to prove his dumbness and that he was completely out of subject, though he awoke my curiosity as usual 🙂

Facebook addiction: Who is the real culprit?

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This was the very first article that I am writing here on LinkedIn and that I am re-writing here on WordPress, and I am very pleased to paste you hereunder a post from one of my compatriots regarding some of my Mauritian compatriots and their addiction to Facebook:

Hello Mark Zuckerberg!

I took a suffering patient to the SSRN Hospital this evening. The security guy outside didn’t bother to give directions because he was busy on Facebook Messenger.

When I reached the “emergency entry”, a taxi driver had forgotten that he had parked there after dropping his passenger, because he was busy checking his Facebook newsfeed.

I went to the registration counter. I had to utter my phone number thrice because the lady’s attention was on her phone’s screen – that showed a man’s Facebook profile.

The doctor was liking photos on Facebook when I had to disturb him, unfortunately. The patient got admitted, and while carrying him to an allocated ward on a wheel-bed, [as they walked] both nurses were excited to be adding each other as Facebook Friends since they met each other after a long time.

And finally me…I had to take out my phone and write a Facebook post to you.

So Mark, did you make us any less slave than our ancestors?

Good night!

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Kudos to my compatriot who wrote that blog post anyway… And thank you Mark Zuckerberg for having addicted the Facebook drug to us. And cheers to all the humans who let themselves getting trapped into that drug so stupidly that they completely forgot the true meaning of socialization and of priorities in life! Because we cannot blame Mark Zuckerberg totally either. He created Facebook to become famous. But so many people misuse Facebook. They make of Facebook an addiction and even use it to publish all their life as an open story and even as a tool used for pornography and violence! And after this we are astonished that we have no more privacy when our privacy is in danger? We are astonished that our pictures are misused within the hands of hackers in the aim of ruining our lives?

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A couple of years ago a respectful young student was retrieved hung in her bedroom together with all her family members after they committed collective suicide! The reason? She had a PUBLIC Facebook profile and posted all her personal pics on it. Some hackers used her pics to create fake pornographic pictures of her on a fake profile with HER name and identity! She was NOT aware of that and so many naive people believed she was a REAL SLUT and her whole reputation at home, at school, in her family and in society got completely ruined! Was she to be blamed for having created a public Facebook profile innocently without expecting the bad consequences it would have had on her life? Or are those hackers to be blamed for having tricked her pictures and ruined her innocence and reputation? Unfortunately I couldn’t retrace the Facebook post revealing about that collective suicide, but I got the proof that such cases exist through that article from Hindustan Times, revealing the arrest of a hacker who victimized another girl in the same case and who pushed her to commit suicide since her reputation was completely ruined because of him.

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Another case we should talk about and which made me being disgusted with having a personal Facebook profile: 2 years ago an Indian girl made me revealing some shocking secrets, though she didn’t know me, about a celebrity I adored to the core! Of course as a blind follower of that celebrity I didn’t believe her and insulted her, and I thought the celebrity would have been clever enough to understand my concern about protecting him and his marital life since he was engaged. Instead of supporting me, he forced me and a couple of his fans whom I shared the story with to apologise to that Indian girl who pretended that her profile was hacked by her boyfriend and that he created that fake profile of hers misusing her pictures, contacts and personal details to create trouble between her and her contacts since he was jealous like hell and could never bear knowing she had male friends who were only fans of hers since she was also a celebrity in her locality. But the way she exposed so many precised details about those shocking revelations are TOO TRUE to consider that this girl was trapped by her boyfriend and it was evident she was lying and fooling everyone! Since now NO ONE gave me right for the good intention I had towards that celebrity and my name and reputation got suddenly blackened by all his followers and even by that celebrity HIMSELF! One day I will reveal you the complete story, which is still in draft mode but which I may publish very soon so that you would know better about the whole story. But to prove you that such cases exist, though they are rarer, I found that article to justify what I have just written, and what I have read in it was extremely shocking, and especially when I read the latest paragraph stipulating, I quote, that “The status updates are not offensive, they do not use foul language and can be deleted once you “Unhack your  Facebook.” Which rubbish is that? Didn’t they realize the foolishness of their action and how they could stupidly put some innocent lives in danger or facing big fear and trauma for nothing, and maybe for the rest of their lives by doing that? That is why there is a quote in French saying “Les plaisanteries les plus courtes sont les meilleures”, translated in English as “The shortest jokes are the best ones”. It’s true since as it starts becoming longer… it doesn’t become a joke anymore and it can really endanger your life!

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It’s easy to blame Mark Zuckerberg for having created Facebook! But we should especially first blame OURSELVES for being unable to use Facebook intelligently, responsibly and appropriately. I was myself a Facebook addicted person and I myself admit how I misused Facebook so cheaply in the past and how Facebook turned into a drug which completely ruined my life and got me away from my priorities and life responsibilities as a SPOUSE, a HOUSEWIFE, a MOTHER and a WRITER-TO-BE! I won’t be scared to share my story with you and with everyone if necessary as an ex Facebook addicted if necessary. I use other platforms regularly such as Google+, Instagram and LinkedIn but when I compare my daily experience with them this is NOTHING compared to my previous FACEBOOK experiences since I obtained TOUGH LIFE LESSONS from them and learned to impose my LIMITS and to respect them.

I’m never gonna say I’m sorry for one thing: TRUTH!

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Malin and Jenny Cecilia from Ace of Base, performing on music video “Never Gonna Say I’m Sorry” (1996)

 

Click here for the video of the clip “Never Gonna Say I’m Sorry” from Ace of Base

Never gonna say I’m sorry – Ace of Base

I’m never gonna say I’m sorry
I’m a clown for everyone
I’m never gonna let you down,
I’m always here like a sun

I’m a loser, that is a fact for sure
I’m happy even if you don’t want
To invite me out for a dance tonight
I’m not normal, I know it, I don’t care

I’m never gonna say I’m sorry
I’m a clown for everyone
I’m never gonna let you down,
I’m always here like a sun

I’m never gonna say I’m sorry
I’m a clown for everyone
I’m never gonna let you down,
I’m always here like a sun

I’m always here like a sun, I’m always here

Like a ghost I follow your steps so true
You don’t have to bribe me or fill me up
Give me a minute to shine with you
I will make you so happy, make you laugh

I’m never gonna say I’m sorry for the essence of my soul
There’s so many ways to change my life
‘Cause I want to…oh
I’m like a clown, I am fun for everyone…

I’m never gonna say I’m sorry…

I am sharing those lyrics from one of the tunes on which I enjoyed dancing and singing during my teenage years, since I have an important message to spread to all my readers about why I have no regrets, further to the latest blog posts that I recently published on my blog, in which I shared with my readers several fragments of my personal and family life. I admit I may have shocked so many of my readers with my personal views. But I’m never gonna say I’m sorry.

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Why should I be sorry for telling the truth and for revealing to the world the true part of me that no one wants to see, but that everyone needs to see? I remember that a friend of mine very often wrote me that, in our exchanges of emails. People write only to please the audience and to be paid, but there’s nothing true nor sincere in whatever they are writing. Do you remember the text that once I wrote, “Jo March and Proofreading“? This is the typical example of the fake story vs the true story. Remember how her first book she wrote was rejected, despite so many days of hard work from Jo. All this because, though the book was perfectly written, the story was meaningless and not interesting at all. But when Jo’s younger sister Beth passed away, for the first time Jo opened her heart through the lines she wrote within one whole night, and that time her novel was published, because the voice of the heart was there.

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Through that example, that is why, even though I admitted in that post that proofreading is necessary when you sell your book, I am deep inside myself against proofreading. I don’t care whether my English is insufficient. I know that my English is insufficient. But what is worth for my readers? A sincere message written in a poor English? Or a hypocrite message written in a perfect English? I still remember the harsh words from my ex-best friend, who highly criticized me for writing average college English instead of having the English level of her Majesty the Queen! HAHAHAHAHA! WTF again! And what made me laughing was that it made her really sick that I wrote in average English 😀 Sorry for you my dear ex-best friend… I may not write in the perfect English of Her Majesty the Queen, but at least I am showing my true colors… So sorry for you if I caused you disease for being real, but unfortunately I have no cure against that disease I caused to you… Tata bye bye… And get well soon, dear Miss Perfect English!

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Have you heard about the French quote which says “Too polite to be honest?” Yes, we are too polite in society because we have been taught by our parents to be polite since we were born. Yes, we are too well-mannered because we have been taught by our parents to be well-mannered. The mask of politeness and of good manners is in front of everyone’s faces, and perfectly covers people’s true colors.

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I once remembered that my mother told someone those words which today make me smile: “My daughter is polite… But it stops here.” Which means that for her, I am nothing else than an empty canned box which makes a lot of noise, but which has anything inside herself. If that’s her opinion, then it suits me perfectly 🙂 Indeed, you are never judged for what you represent deep inside yourself, but only through the appearance that you show in front of people nah? You judge people and things through what you see, and not with the heart, don’t you? This is whatever lots of people tend to do nowadays, and that’s what encourages a lot of people to wear a mask when they are in public. Why? Because they are scared. They are scared of being true, of being themselves. They are scared about the hearabouts, the critics, or whatever people may think about them. But wait a minute… Who are we to judge others? No one is perfect. Only God can judge us. Only God can determine the good and the bad within each of us. So why should we remain prisoner of that motherf*****g mask of hypocrisy, just to “please people”? Why is that easier for us to wear that mask of torture only to please people? It seems that we are really masochist nah? Because we prefer torturing our true inner self to please other imperfect humans like us… Instead of being true and having the guts to disturb the aura of hypocrite people and hypocrite society. Soooooooo sad!!!

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Madonna – “Truth or Dare” song video

 

 

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Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya – Thailand

One day, I did some researches and then saw an ancient Indian Folklore about the Blind Men and the Elephant, which, according to that source, “tells the story of six blind sojourners that come across different parts of an elephant in their life journeys. In turn, each blind man creates his own version of reality from that limited experience and perspective. In philosophy departments throughout the world, the Blind Men and the Elephant has become the poster child for moral relativism and religious tolerance.” I saw another interesting source about that link since I saw the picture from the sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, which was described in that source as “a very special place where Thai culture as well as religion, art and philosophy come together in perfect harmony.” Another proof on how elephant and truth perfectly match together. The statue of the three-headed elephant God known in Thailand as Erawan, which also represents the Hindu God Airavata, and is also a form of representation of the Hindu Trilogy Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Keeper and Mahesh/Shiva the Destroyer, like depicted in that article. As you may have noticed, there are so many philosophies which turn around the link between the truth and the elephant. The articles about the three-headed elephant, and how it’s depicted in several Asian countries and in India coincides with the different perceptions of truth about the elephant from the blind men, for finally agreeing together that it’s an elephant that they have been touching. Each of the team members and bloggers who contribute into developing that interesting news room represents a fragment of that team based on “the truth, and nothing but the truth”, and each of them has a fragment of truth to bring and on which everyone will end by concluding that together, they all built… The Truth. Finally, another detail which came in my mind regarding that link between the truth and the elephant is about a video clip I once saw on YouTube, “Eyes of Truth” from Enigma, which depicts the scene of a young mother who sends her baby on a floating cot on a sacred river to an unknown destination. The mother is seen praying God Surya to protect her child. The child grows up and has an elephant as animal companion, which brings him to a sacred town where he is welcomed with flowers all over his pathway, in the same way Lord Jesus was welcomed as the Messiah in the Town of Jerusalem. After he reaches the soil, the baby is taken under the care of a mother elephant, who will become his animal companion and bring the young boy to a journey, where he will discover at the same time the beauty of Nepal, and also how the human being is destroying its beauty by putting fire in it. At the end of his journey, he is welcomed in that sacred city, where he is worshipped like a God Child, before quietly continuing his journey with the elephant. Truth exists within the eyes of every child, and what is sad is that we all forgot that we had an inner child within us, since we are enrobed in that world of superficiality, lies and hypocrisy every day.

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Moscow and Paris

I remember having recently read an article regarding the unforgettable experience of a French tourist who visited Russia, and who went back to his country with so many Russian friends and wonderful memories, which encouraged him to come back again. And when he came back after several years, though the political relationship between both countries recently deteriorated, his same Russian friends welcomed him with arms wide open and with the same kindness and hospitality, regardless to the political tensions between the two countries. This is another part of truth that we tend to base ourselves on: We base ourselves on what our Leaders are showing us, all this because… The example comes from above. I don’t agree on that point. The example comes from both above and below, and there the example should come from below. If the simple French citizen befriended the simple Russian citizen, then why shouldn’t two political leaders of those same countries take example on their friendship, which is a simple and pure friendship without any bias? This is another example on how the human being, when he becomes popular, makes his life and relationships complicated, whereas a simple truth between that French tourist and his Russian friends could perfectly attract their attention to improve their political relationship, not only for them both, but also for their own nations.

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The VW Factory in Germany

 

Finally, I would like to share with you all another point: One day, I saw an interesting building picture taken in Germany, but which unfortunately I couldn’t retrace back to share it with you. Meanwhile, I saw the one above during my researches, representing the VW factory in Germany, and which was a transparent building. This picture reminded me of another transparent building, maybe one of the rarest ones, that we have in Mauritius, which is our famous Mauritius Commercial Bank Building in Ebene, where you can openly see people working and moving in total transparency, including in the office restaurant on the groundfloor. Based on that fact, it’s time now for our society to change and to be settled on TRUTH BASIC, if we want our little island’s image to be taken as a perfect example of good governance and of good art of living for the Indian Ocean, the African Continent, the Commonwealth and the Rest of the World. So WAKE UP, Mauritius! And never feel sorry for telling the truth. Instead, be sorry for opting for the fake and change yourself. Because like Michael Jackson once sang, “If you wanna make the world a better place, just take a look at yourself, then make a change!”

Saturday Morning in Johannesburg and Soweto – RSA

A DREAMY WEEKEND IN JOHANNESBURG

During the weekend from Friday 01st to Sunday 03rd April 2016, since our son was on holidays in Mauritius with his paternal grandparents, my husband and I decided to spend a weekend in Johannesburg, South Africa. We departed from the Seychelles via an Air Seychelles flight at 09.30.am, local Seychelles time, and we reached Johannesburg after 4 hours of flight, during which we had a good meal on board and I could take some rest, because of my left ear which was causing me pain despite the medicines. But despite that ache, I didn’t care since we landed there. After we collected our luggage, a hotel driver welcomed us and brought us to the Protea Hotel in the province of Gauteng, where we had a wonderful stay, service and meals.

But the most interesting day I had during our short stay in Johannesburg was the whole Saturday morning, during which we roamed in the City Centre of Johannesburg, and also in several unknown places and regions, and we also had the pleasure to discover Soweto for the very first time.

A GLIMPSE ON THE HISTORY OF JOHANNESBURG

We started with a glimpse of the history of Johannesburg, especially known as a land of gold and the birth of the name of the town. The Wikipedia information below confirm whatever the tour operator told us about those two details

The main Witwatersrand gold reef was discovered in June 1884 on the farm Vogelstruisfontein by Jan Gerritse Bantjes that triggered the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the start of Johannesburg in 1886. The discovery of gold rapidly attracted people to the area, making necessary a name and governmental organisation for the area. Johann and Johannes were common male names among the Dutch of that time; two men involved in surveying the area for the best location of the city, Christian Johannes Joubert and Johann Rissik, are considered the source of the name by some. Johannes Meyer, the first government official in the area is another possibility. Precise records for the choice of name were lost.[13] Within ten years, the city of Johannesburg included 100,000 people.[17]

In September 1884 the Struben brothers discovered the Confidence Reef on the farm Wilgespruit near present-day Roodepoort, which further boosted excitement over gold prospects. The first gold to be crushed on the Witwatersrand was the gold-bearing rock from the Bantjes mine crushed using the Struben brothers stamp machine. Also, news of the discovery soon reached Kimberley and directors Cecil Rhodes with Sir Joseph Robinson rode up to investigate rumours for themselves. They were guided to the Bantjes camp with its tents strung out over several kilometres and stayed with Bantjes for two nights.

In 1884 they purchased the first pure refined gold from Bantjes for £3000. Incidentally, Bantjes had since 1881 been operating the Kromdraai Gold Mine in the Cradle of Humankind together with his partner Johannes Stephanus Minnaar where they first discovered gold in 1881, and which also offered another kind of discovery – the early ancestors of all mankind.[citation needed] Some report Australian George Harrison as the first to make a claim for gold in the area that became Johannesburg, as he found gold on a farm in July 1886. He did not stay in the area.[18]

Gold was earlier discovered some 400 kilometres (249 miles) to the east of present-day Johannesburg, in BarbertonGold prospectors soon discovered the richer gold reefs of the Witwatersrand offered by Bantjes. The original miners’ camp, under the informal leadership of Col Ignatius Ferreira, was located in the Fordsburg dip, possibly because water was available there, and because of the site’s proximity to the diggings. Following upon the establishment of Johannesburg, the area was taken over by the Government who had it surveyed and named it Ferreira’s Township, today the suburb of Ferreirasdorp. The first settlement at Ferreira’s Camp was established as a tented camp and which soon reached a population of 3,000 by 1887.[17] The government took over the Ferreira’s camp, surveyed it and named it as Ferreira’s Township.[19] By 1896 Johannesburg was established as a city of over 100,000 inhabitants, one of the fastest growth cities ever.

But what we mostly appreciated in that historical part of the city was when the tour guide mentioned that millions of years ago, there was a meteorite which fell on the place where the town of Johannesburg would be born millions of years later, and which brought those particles of gold in that city. But when I checked that information through some personal researches, the only source I could obtain was about the Vredefort Dome, but which didn’t directly concern South Africa: http://www.southafrica.info/about/geography/vredefort-080605.HTML#.VwVF0Pl97IU

We cannot forget about the richness of South Africa without mentioning Paul Kruger, and how he had been defeated since President Thomas Francois Burgers was elected President of South Africa, which brought Paul Kruger to be dismayed and which was one of the reasons of the battle against the Dutch regarding gold and diamond Here are some Wikipedia extracts also regarding the start of the defeat of Paul Kruger: Burgers busied himself attempting to modernise the South African Republic along European lines, hoping to set in motion a process that would lead to a united, independent South Africa. Finding Boer officialdom inadequate, he imported ministers and civil servants en mass from the Netherlands. His ascent to the presidency came shortly after the realisation that the Boer republics might stand on land of immense mineral wealth. Diamonds had been discovered in Griqua territory just north of the Orange River on the western edge of the Free State, arousing the interest of Britain and other countries; mostly British settlers, referred to by the Boers as uitlanders (“out-landers”), were flooding into the region.[71] Britain began to pursue federation of the Boer republics with the Cape and Natal and in 1873, over Boer objections, annexed the area surrounding the huge diamond mine at Kimberley, dubbing it Griqualand West. 

Nonetheless, the visit in general was announced as interesting and enriching, since we had the opportunity to visit several interesting places.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF JOHANNESBURG

While we were still in Gauteng, we arrived at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, a historic building fully made with red bricks. The very first thing which captivated my attention was the Flame of Democracy, which, according to the tour guide, remained lit 24/7, with a plaque showing a text illustrating the holiness of that flame of democracy. Here is its meaning I retrieved in an article defining it properly: The 16th of December 2011 marked the 15th anniversary of the signing of South Africa’s new constitution. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, a Flame of Democracy was implemented. The installation is housed at the threshold of the historic Awaiting Trial Toer along its east-west axis to the Constitutional Court entrance – this siting directly references the South African journey toward democracy. Comprising of an eternal flame and column of light – visible throughout the city – their symbolism stands in stark contrast to the doorway of the towers through which prisoners once passed.

I also snapped a wooden column with some sculptures on it, showing some messages derived from sign language from the deaf and mute people, who also had their part of importance in the constitution, and a colourful message in Afrikaans regarding that constitution, for which though I couldn’t retrieve some concrete sources. But to come to the deaf and mute, its importance was illustrated among the main prisoner portraits ornating the wall of the Constitutional Court of Johannesburg and who left their footprint in the history of that wonderful town. Here is the extract of the briefing by Deaf Federation of South Africa, dated 16th February 2007, recognising the South African Sign Language as an Official Language I quote: “The Deaf Federation of South Africa stated that it was approaching the Committee as a suggested first step in its quest to have South African Sign Language recognised as the twelfth official language of South Africa. Deaf SA represented around one million deaf and hard of hearing people in South Africa, for whom sign language was a first language. They were hindered from access because, although deaf schools were now finally teaching sign language, rather than trying to teach speech, and although the Schools Act had granted recognition for education purposes to sign language, it was still not officially recognised, which meant that other departments, institutions, media and facilities did not support such language. Deaf SA tabled other countries where official recognition was given and sought

Members raised questions on what sign language entailed, whether there were dialects, whether the language was universal to all deaf South Africans, and the numbers of profoundly deaf people for whom there were no options other than sign language as a means of communication Several members were concerned about the practical implications of the proposals, particularly for schooling, media and the courts. Questions also addressed access to translators and schools.

The Committee resolved to discuss the matter again in two weeks time. Deaf SA was asked to provide some further details.

The Committee would be meeting with a delegation from the German Parliament on 13 March to discuss the functioning of the Committee and constitutional changes made since 1996. A meeting on the submission proposing an increased Free State legislature would be convened once feedback had been obtained from the Western Cape legislature.

Here were the other prisoners, whose portrait ornates that same wall of prisoners and some references and extracts about their lives and their fight and activism against Apartheid and, for some of them, within the African National Congress (ANC):

– Christian De Wet :

De Wet took an active part in the peace negotiations of 1902. Briefly (30 to 31 May) he took on the role of Acting State President of the Orange Free State, when President Steyn had to leave the negotiations due to illness. De Wet was one of the signatories of theTreaty of Vereeniging. At the conclusion of the war he visited Europe with other Boer generals. While in England the generals unsuccessfully sought a modification of the peace terms concluded in Pretoria. De Wet wrote an account of his campaigns, an English version of which appeared in November 1902 under the title De Stryd tusschen Boer en Brit (Three Years War). In November 1907, he was elected a member of the first parliament of the Orange River Colony and was appointed minister of agriculture. In 1908-9 he was a delegate to the Closer Union Convention.[2]

De Wet was one of the leaders of the Maritz Rebellion which broke out in 1914. He was defeated at Mushroom Valley by General Botha on 12 November 1914, taken prisoner by Colonel Brits on 1 December, and sentenced to a term of six years imprisonment, with a fine of £2000. He was released after one year’s imprisonment, after giving a written promise to take no further part in politics.

De Wet progressively weakened and at length, on 3 February 1922, he died on his farm. General Smuts, who had become Prime Minister, cabled his widow: ‘A prince and a great man has fallen today.’ De Wet was given a state funeral in Bloemfontein and buried next to President Steyn and Emily Hobhouseat the foot of the memorial to the women and children who died in the concentration camps. On the hundredth anniversary of his birth, a bronze equestrian statue, by Coert Steynberg, was unveiled at the Raadzaal in Bloemfontein

– Mahatma Gandhi (more details about his imprisonment in South Africa on http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/mahatma-Gandhi-arrested-first-time)

– Albertina Sisulu, on whom the tour guide said that she was the one behind Mandela’s success: “Sisulu was co-president of the biggest internal anti-apartheid grouping of the 1980s, the United Democratic Front (UDF). Her husband, Walter, the man who brought Nelson Mandela into politics, served as secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) before going underground and hiding out at a farm at Rivonia, near Johannesburg, then being captured and sentenced to life imprisonment with Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders.” . As per what I understood from the tour guide, Sisulu’s house was a secret area in which she was secretly meeting members of ANC and South African Indian Campaign, especially in 1951 (Source: http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/Albertina-sisulu-time line-1918-2011).

– Robert Sobukwe (Source: http://www.southafrica.info/about/history/Robert-sobukwe-overview.HTML#.VwVOFvl97IU): I have no specific extracts to show for that wonderful man since the whole article is worth to be read thanks to his inspirational speeches and quotes.

– Oliver Tambo:

During his early years with the ANC Oliver Tambo was directly responsible for organising active guerrilla units. Along with his cohorts Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo, and Walter Sisulu; Tambo directed and facilitated several attacks against unarmed civilians. Of which one of the most notable was the Church Street bombing on 20 May 1983, which resulted in the death of 19 civilians and the wounding of a further 217. In submissions to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1997 and 1998, the ANC revealed that the attack was orchestrated by a special operations unit of the ANC’s Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), commanded by Aboobaker Ismail. Such units had been authorised by Oliver Tambo, the ANC President, in 1979. At the time of the attack, they reported to Joe Slovo as chief of staff, and the Church Street attack was authorised by Tambo.

The ANC’s submission said that the bombing was in response to a South African cross-border raid into Lesotho in December 1982 which killed 42 ANC supporters and civilians, and the assassination of Ruth First, an ANC activist and wife of Joe Slovo, in Maputo, Mozambique. It claimed that 11 of the casualties were SAAF personnel and hence a military target. The legal representative of some of the victims argued that as administrative staff including telephonists and typists they could not accept that they were a legitimate military target.

Ten MK operatives including Aboobaker Ismail applied for amnesty for this and other bombings. The applications were opposed on various grounds, including that it was a terrorist attack disproportionate to the political motive. The TRC found that the number of civilians versus military personnel killed was unclear. South African Police statistics indicated that 7 members of the SAAF were killed. The commission found that at least 84 of the injured were SAAF members or employees. Amnesty was granted by the TRC.

– Albert Luthuli :

Awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1960, Luthuli was allowed to travel to Oslo to receive the award the following year.

In his acceptance speech on 10 December 1961, Luthuli said: “It can only be on behalf of the people of South Africa, all the people of South Africa, especially the freedom-loving people, that I accept this award, that I acknowledge this honour. I accept it also as an honour not only to South Africa, but for the whole continent of Africa …

“Quite long ago my forefathers extended a hand of friendship to people of Europe when they came to that continent. What has happened to the extension of that hand only history can say, and it is not time to speak about that here, but I would like to say, as I receive this Price of peace, that the hand of Africa was extended. It was a hand of friendship, if you read history.”

In his Nobel lecture, delivered at the University of Oslo on the following day, Luthuli said: “How easy it would have been in South Africa for the natural feelings of resentment at white domination to have been turned into feelings of hatred and a desire for revenge against the white community.

“Here, where every day, in every aspect of life every nonwhite comes up against the ubiquitous sign ‘Europeans Only’ and the equally ubiquitous policeman to enforce it – here it could well be expected that a racialism equal to that of their oppressors would flourish to counter the white arrogance toward blacks.

“That it has not done so is no accident. It is because, deliberately and advisedly, African leadership for the past fifty years, with the inspiration of the African National Congress, which I had the honour to lead for the last decade or so until it was banned, had set itself steadfastly against racial vain gloriousness.

“We know that in so doing we passed up opportunities for an easy demagogic appeal to the natural passions of a people denied freedom and liberty; we discarded the chance of an easy and expedient emotional appeal.

“Our vision has always been that of a nonracial, democratic South Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens, with equal rights and responsibilities with all others. For the consummation of this ideal we have laboured unflinchingly. We shall continue to labour unflinchingly.”

At the end of his lecture, after much applause, Luthuli sang the African anthem, “Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika”.

On 21 July 1967, while taking a walk near his Natal home, Luthuli was killed, reportedly when he was struck by a train.

– Joe Slovo:

Slovo was a leading theoretician in both the SACP and the ANC. In the 1970s he wrote the influential essay No Middle Road which stated that the apartheid government would be unable either to achieve stability or to co-opt significant sections of the small but growing black middle class – in other words the only choice was between the overthrow of apartheid or ever greater repression. At the time the SACP’s orthodox pro-Soviet and stage-ist view of change in South Africa was dominant in the ANC-led liberation movement.

Being Jewish and a Communist, Slovo was a demonised figure on the far right of Afrikaner society.

In 1989, he wrote “Has Socialism Failed?” which acknowledged the weaknesses of the socialist movement and the excesses of Stalinism, while at the same time rejecting attempts by the left to distance themselves from socialism. Slovo died in 1995 of cancer. In 2004 he was voted 47th in the Top 100 Great South Africans.

It was he who in 1992 proposed the breakthrough in the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa with the “sunset clause” for a coalition government for the five years following a democratic election, including guarantees and concessions to all sides.

After the elections of 1994 he became Minister for housing in Nelson Mandela‘s government, until his death in 1995. His funeral was attended by the entire high command of the ANC, and by most of the highest officials in the country, including both Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

– Fatima Meer:

In 1946, Meer joined many other South African Indians in a passive resistance campaign against apartheid, during which she started the Student Passive Resistance Committee. She also helped to establish the Durban District Women’s League, an organisation started in order to build alliances between Africans and Indians as a result of the race riotsbetween the two groups in 1949.

After the National Party gained power in 1948 and started implementing their policy of apartheid, Meer’s activism increased; she was one of the founding members of the Federation of South African Women, which spearheaded the historical women’s march on the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956. As a result of her activism, Meer was first “banned” in 1952 (“banning” was a government practise that, among other things, limited the number of people a person could meet at any one time as well as a person’s movements and also prohibited a person from being published).[citation needed]

In the 1960s, she organised night vigils to protest against the mass detention of anti-apartheid activists without trial. During the 1970s she was again banned and later detained without trial for trying to organise a political rally with Black Consciousness Movement figure Steve Biko. She narrowly survived an assassination attempt shortly after her release from detention in 1976 when she was shot at her family home in Durban, but luckily not harmed. Her son, Rashid, went into exile in the same year. She was attacked again and blamed the second attack on the Black Consciousness Movement.[3]

She was a strong supporter of the Iranian Revolution and boycotted Salman Rushdie‘s trip to South Africa in 1998 claiming that he was a blasphemer.

– Sheila Weinberg

Weinberg was involved in her parents’ activism from an early age. She painted slogans and was involved in ANC and SACP activities after the organisations were banned in 1960. Both parents suffered periods of detention and exile for their political activities and during this time the young Weinberg was looked after by another activist, Helen Joseph.

In 1964, Weinberg was detained for the first time and held at the Johannesburg Fort prison under the 90 day Detention Act. At 19 years old, she was the youngest detainee in South Africa at the time. With her mother in a cell close by, Weinberg was held for 65 days and released without charge. She later served a jail term for painting a pro-ANC slogan on a public building.

– Lilian Ngoyi

She joined the ANC Women’s League in 1952; she was at that stage a widow with two children and an elderly mother to support, and worked as a seamstress. A year later she was elected as President of the Women’s League. On 9 August 1956, Ngoyi led a march along with Helen JosephRahima MoosaSophia Williams-De BruynMotlalepula ChabakuBertha Gxowa and Albertina Sisulu of 20,000 women to the Union Buildings of Pretoria in protest against the apartheid government requiring women to carry passbooks as part of the pass laws.

Lilian Ngoyi was also a transnational figure who recognised the potential influence that international support could have on the struggle against apartheid and the emancipation of black women. With this in mind she embarked on an audacious (and highly illegal) journey to Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1955 to participate in the World Congress of Mothers held by the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF). Accompanied by her fellow activist Dora Tamana, and as an official delegate of FEDSAW, she embarked on a journey that would see an attempt to stow away on a boat leaving Cape Town under “white names”, defy (with the help of a sympathetic pilot) segregated seating on a plane bound for London and gain entry to Britain under the pretext of completing her course in bible studies. With Tamana, she would visit England, Germany, Switzerland, Roumania, China and Russia, meeting women leaders often engaged in left-wing politics, before arriving back in South Africa a wanted woman.[6]

Ngoyi was not an intellectual, rather she was known as a strong orator and a fiery inspiration to many of her colleagues in the ANC. She was arrested in 1956, spent 71 days in solitary confinement, and was for a period of 11 years placed under severe bans and restrictions that often confined to her home in Orlando, Soweto.

– Nico Smith

In 1981, Smith could no longer keep his membership in the Afrikaner Broederbond in good conscience. He quit, and compared it to social suicide — many of his “friends” suddenly wanted nothing to do with him.[1] Smith began aggressively challenging apartheid in his classes, which drew the ire of his superiors who wanted him to “Teach theory, not conclusions.”[1] Smith joined public protests against the government’s bulldozing of squatter shacks in Cape Town, and he was called before a church commission to justify himself. Smith decided to resign his professorship and leave the DRC to join its separate coloured branch, the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa. Smith, together with his wife Ellen, became an anti-apartheid activist from that point onward. He began preaching in Mamelodi in 1982, a suburb of Pretoria designated for non-whites only at the time due to theGroup Areas Act. Smith eventually received rare permission from the South African government to live there in 1985, making him and his wife the only whites allowed to live in the area.[2] In Mamelodi, he not only acted as minister, but also as a community organiser and civic planner.[1] To encourage integration and interaction between the separated communities, he organised a further swap in 1988 — 170 whites moved into Mamelodi to live with black families, while 35 blacks lived in white homes in the suburbs of Pretoria. The exchange lasted four days.[2] At the time, few whites knew how blacks lived due to strict segregation rules. Black neighbourhoods were avoided and perceived as dangerous. Smith explained that he ran the swap because “White fear is one of the great barriers to understanding and progress in this country… But over the past two years there has been an increasing realisation by whites of the depth and the degree of black anger.”[3] The swap was attacked as “designed to promote Marxist doctrine”,[4] as nearly any opposition to apartheid was called a communist plot to destabilise the country. Smith also demanded an investigation into suspicious murders of anti-apartheid activists.[5]

In 1989, he moved back to a white suburb of Pretoria.[2] Smith’s South African model of the in-home meal and story sharing earned the 1989 Beyond War Award,[6] and inspired the sustained Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group in the United States.

– Finally, Nelson Mandela, the most popular of all, for which there is a complete article I am proposing and which is worth being read fully: http://www.morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/nelson-Mandela-fight-against-apartheid

After I snapped those pictures, I paid attention on a sculpture, “History” made by South African artist Dumile Ferni. I didn’t really have any information regarding that sculpture, but the way it has been made is a representation of the tragic part of apartheid, during which the Whites were dominating the Non Whites, treating them like animals, like that Black man pulling a chariot on which two uptown men, who seemed to be white men, were comfortably sitting. Regarding the artist himself, here are some interesting extracts I found on that link and how, through his masterpieces, he became a visionary of the tragedy behind apartheid (Source: http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/dumile-feni): ”

Described while in Johannesburg as the ‘Goya of the townships’, Dumile found his subject matter in the life and events he observed around him. Working primarily with graphic art in monochromatic hues, the artist had the ability and vision to transform the particular into the universal. His works also reflect his deep love of music, especially jazz. And even the disposition of the figures on the page is invested with musical rhythm.

Dumile was also an exceptionally gifted sculptor, skill that is clearly expressed in his art. Though executed entirely in a linear fashion, many of his drawings have a profound sculptural quality. The Study for the portrait of Albert Luthuli is an excellent example of this. It does not attempt to depict the final three-dimensional sculpture; instead, the drawing itself has intrinsic attributes to sculpture.

Albert Luthuli was a Zulu chief, teacher and religious leader that became president of the African National Congress from 1952 to 1967, and was the first African winner of the Nobel Peace Price for his efforts in waging a non-violent campaign against racial discrimination in South Africa. While in London, Dumile began working on this subject. Eventually he completed at least a drawing and two bronzes of this African icon. Dumile’s portraits are not conventional. And the Luthuli project is no exception. Rather than depicting naturalistic likeness, both the drawing and the sculptures are symbolic portraits of a great leader and a wise and noble man.

Dumile succeeded in imbuing his work with feelings of deep sympathy and humanity. As Justice Albie Sachs has pointed out, Dumile’s work embodies the ideals and values which we cherish in a democratic South Africa and which are enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

Then, we came inside the Constitutional Court, and one detail which astonished me was the representation of the chart of “Justice under a tree”. According to my personal researches, I found a small extract where the tree logo was chosen as a symbol of protection alike the constitution, I quote: (Source: http://www.constitutionalcourt.org.za/site/thecourt/thelogo.htm)

It depicts people sheltering under a canopy of branches – a representation of the Constitution’s protective role and a reference to a theme that runs though the Court, that of justice under a tree. The idea comes from traditional African societies: this was where people would meet to resolve disputes.

(…)

The symbol chosen in the end was the tree – something that protects, just like the Constitution. But this tree does not stand alone in the logo: it is sheltering people who have gathered under its branches.

Initially, it seemed, there were two options: people or a tree. Now it became one concept: a crowd of people standing beneath the tree, encapsulated in a circle. The department of public works then turned Parton’s logo into the large brass relief plaque that is now a compelling feature of the building.

Maybe this is why there are some benches inside the court, made with small tree trunks to symbolise that tree. According to the tour guide, the tree chosen was the baobab but I couldn’t find some sources to justify the nature of that tree. What also attracted my attention was the way the constitutional court was made with those old red bricks. According to Wikipedia, I quote: “The court building itself was built using bricks from the demolished awaiting-trial wing of the former prison.” (Source: HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Hill,_Johannesburg#The_Constitutional_Court )

No one can really explain why the red bricks were chosen to build the Constitutional Court, but according to my conversation with the tour guide on that subject, maybe it was because of the bloodshed spread by all the prisoners and victims of apartheid that the red colour was chosen. Yet it remains an interesting point on which we should focus later.

Another detail caught my attention, regarding a small plaque on which it was written about the songs sung by the prisoners of the Old Fort Prison Complex near the Constitution Hill. According to that extract, I quote, Communal Cells: Overcrowded, dirty and badly ventilated cells lit by a small window only, was only a part of the brutal detention conditions. Ironically as authorities tried to break prisoners down, these communal cells became an area to build courage and discuss resistance including singing resistance songs to entertain, comfort and maintain solidarity. This was also used to defy the authorities.

THE OTHER FACADE OF JOHANNESBURG THAT TOURISTS DON’T WANT TO SEE, AND WHICH IS A SAD REALITY EXISTING

When we left the Constitutional Hill, we continued our town roaming and then the driver sent us to Hillbrow, a residential city near Johannesburg. I was very shocked seeing the contrast between the luxury of the multi-cultural areas of Johannesburg, with the extreme disorder and poverty within that city, for which most of the immigrants are illegal ones from other African countries such as Rwanda, Nigeria, etc, and who also live and operate in that city as illegal workers. I remember even, for example, about the tour guide who mentioned the Nigerian immigrants of that suburb mostly known for prostitution traffic there. Here are some extracts I found regarding Hillbrow’s story:

Hillbrow is an inner city residential neighbourhood of JohannesburgGauteng ProvinceSouth Africa. It is known for its high levels of population density, unemployment, poverty and crime.

In the 1970s it was an Apartheid-designated “whites only” area but soon became a “grey area”, where people of different ethnicity lived together. It acquired a cosmopolitan and politically progressive feel, and was one of the first identifiable gay and lesbian areas in urban South Africa. However, due to poor planning its infrastructure could not cope with the rapid population growth.[2] This, together with lack of investment led to an exodus of middle class residents in the 1980s and the decay of major buildings, leaving in its wake an urban slum by the 1990s.[3]

Today, the majority of the residents are migrants from the townships, rural areas and the rest of Africa, many living in abject poverty. An urban regeneration programme is underway. There are street markets, mainly used by local residents, and the Johannesburg Art Gallery contains work by major local artists including William Kentridge(Source: HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillbrow)

We also discovered some other curious details a few miles after Hillbrow which attracted our attention. Among them:

– Tekkie Town, a big shopping mall proposing great brands but for affordable prices: http://www.tekkietown.co.za/

– Markham Building (Source: HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markham_Building)

– The First National Bank (Source: HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_National_Bank_(South_Africa))

At about the same time, the government of the South African Republic desired to create a local commercial bank, due to the discovery of gold in Barberton and theWitwatersrand. The government thus created a bank through a concession agreement. The task of the bank was to focus primarily on financing agricultural development. A state mint was also established as part of the concession. The National Bank der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Beperk (National Bank of the South African Republic Limited) was registered in Pretoria in 1891 and opened its doors for business on 5 April of the same year. After the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1902, the name of this bank was changed to the National Bank of South Africa Limited.

Due to another recession, the Bank of Africa was bought out by the National Bank in 1912, which had already bought out another bank, the National Bank of the Orange River Colony in 1910. The Natal Bank, which was founded in 1854 to fund the Natal Colony‘s sugar industry, also suffered financial difficulties and was taken over in 1914. By this time, the National Bank was now one of the strongest and largest banks in South Africa.

– The Star Newspaper (Source: HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_(South_Africa) )

We also drove all over a big sight seeing of gold mines. Among them, the Witwatersrand. I am very happy to write those lines there, since contrary to the beginning of what I wrote before, I didn’t find any concrete researches regarding the meteorite which exploded on that part of South Africa. But here are two extracts I retrieved and which explains the start of existence of gold and other minerals in those mining sites:

1) The vast majority of the Earth’s gold and other heavy metals are locked up in the earth’s core. Evidence from tungstenisotope studies indicates that most gold in the crust is derived from gold in the mantle which resulted from a meteoritebombardment some 3900 million years ago (i.e. at approximately the time that the Kaapvaal craton formed). The gold bearing meteorite events occurred millions of years after the segregation of the earth’s core.[9] The gold in the Witwatersrand Basin area was deposited in Archean river deltas having been washed down from surrounding gold-rich greenstone belts to the north and west. Rheniumosmium isotope studies indicate that the gold in those mineral deposits came from unusual 3000 million year old mantle-derived intrusions known as komatiite, present in the greenstone belts. 

2) Although gold had been discovered in various locations in South Africa, such as Barberton and Pilgrim’s Rest, as well as at several sites near the Witwatersrand, these were alluvial concentrates in contemporary rivers, or in quartz veins, in the form that gold had always been found elsewhere on earth. When George Harrison, probably accompanied by George Walker, found gold on the farm Langlaagte, 5 km west of the city of Johannesburg, in an outcrop of conglomerate rocks, in February 1886, they assumed that this was alluvial gold in an old riverbed, that had been tilted as a result of earth movements.[1][2] However, when it was found that, traced down dip, the conglomerate was not merely developed for the narrow width of a river, but continued in depth, there came the realisation that this conglomerating zone was part of a sedimentary succession.[1] Harrison had stumbled on the Main Reef conglomerate (part of the “Johannesburg Subgroup” of rocks — see illustration above). The conglomerate was quickly traced east and westward for a total continuous distance of 50 km to define what became known as the “Central Rand Gold Field”.

Harrison declared his claim with the then-government of the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR), and in September 1886 President Paul Kruger issued a proclamation declaring nine farms public mining diggings, starting on 20 September 1886.[2] This heralded the historic Witwatersrand Gold Rush. Harrison is believed to have sold his claim for less than £10 before leaving the area, and he was never heard from again. Harrison’s original “Zoekers” (in English: seeker’s, or prospector’s) Claim No 19 was declared a national monument in 1944, and named Harrison’s Park.[11] The park is on the busy Main Reef Road, immediately west of Nasrec Road.[2] In 1887 Cecil John Rhodes registered “The Gold Fields of South Africa” in London, South Africa’s first mining house, with a capital of £250 000. His brother Thomas was the first chairman.

– Another place which is worth to be discovered, the 11 Diagonal Street Building of Gauteng. The most interesting aspect behind the history of that building is summarised in that extract, I quote: Diagonal Street and its surrounds developed into a racially mixed area in which trading continued despite the prescriptive Gold Law of 1908 and the Asiatic Land Tenure and Trading Amendment Act of 1919, which restricted land acquisition, trading and occupancy rights. Lack of enforcement of these laws was partly due to the fact that the town centre had shifted eastwards towards Rissik and Eloff streets, allowing marginalised races and religions to create the eclectic culture of Diagonal Street. (Source: http://www.gauteng.net/attractions/diagonal_street)

– The SAB World Beer (Source: http://www.worldofbeer.co.za/experiences/category/the-tour ) relating the history of beer worldwide and then in South Africa. The most details regarding South African beers will mostly been retrieved by booking for a tour from that site. But you can meanwhile find more details about the South African beer by clicking on the “More Info” under the paragraphs “Green Fields”, “Beer in the Cape”, “Heritage Hall” and “Soweto Shebeen”. While visiting Soweto, as per my notes you will retrieve later, the tour guide gave us a dark version about the damages that the Soweto Shebeen was causing to the Soweto population. However, I haven’t really understood the tour guider’s explanations about the local beer but according to what I understood, and what I need to check afterwards, there was a time where Soweto people were consuming a beer which was made with Soka, and that product was causing some disorders and brought people into committing violence. But I couldn’t find any information justifying that piece of information the tour guide shared with us, unless I come back to Johannesburg for more clearings about that point. But I found some information regarding the illegal shebeens the tour guide mentioned about and still illegally operating in Soweto by Shebeen queens (Source: HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebeen#South_Africa)

Before we reached Soweto, the tour guide mentioned about Gauteng being a point of departure for Johannesburg people as a place of gold, as conclusion for what we already visited. Here is an extract about the province of Gauteng from which the capital city Johannesburg detains its incredible richness, not only for gold but also when it comes on lifestyle, education, economy, etc, I quote:

With a total area of 16 548 square kilometres, Gauteng is slightly smaller than the US state of New Jersey. While it’s the country’s smallest province, it has the largest population, and by far the highest population density – around 675 people per square kilometre. (The Northern Cape, by comparison, has an average of around three people per square kilometre.)

A summer-rainfall area, Gauteng has hot summers and cold winters with frost. Hail is common during summer thunderstorms.

The people of Gauteng have the highest per capita income level in the country. The province blends cultures, colours and first and third-world traditions in a spirited mix, flavoured by a number of foreign influences. The world’s languages can be heard on the streets and in offices, from English to Mandarin, Swahili, French, German and more.

The province has the most important educational and health centres in the country. Pretoria boasts the largest residential university in South Africa, the University of Pretoria, and what is believed to be the largest correspondence university in the world, the University of South Africa, or Unisa.

Most of South Africa’s research and development takes place in Gauteng, which is home to many of the country’s core biotechnology companies. Leading research institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Agricultural Research Council and the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute are based there.

Although the province is highly urbanised and industrialised, it contains wetlands of international importance, such as Blesbokspruit near Springs.

And it’s home to the Cradle of Humankind, one of South Africa’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. The region of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs has one of the world’s richest concentrations of hominid fossils, evidence of human evolution over the past 3.5-million years.

SOWETO: SOWETO GO NOW (SO WHERE TO GO NOW?) ?

Our tour guide was the very first person who taught us that slogan “Soweto go now?” which is a parody of “So, where to go now?” But I don’t really remember what he meant through that quote and couldn’t find any information behind that slogan. Nonetheless, here are some interesting points that we have discovered about Soweto, for which you can retrieve those complete details on HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soweto .

Through that Journey to Soweto, we have learnt a lot of interesting facts which really make of Soweto a rich destination:

– The first thing we snapped when we arrived there was a sort of electric central in the shape of a freestanding house, but when I did more researches about it, I didn’t find anything and I hope to have more clearing about it during my next trip to Soweto. However, regarding the Soweto Power Plant also known as the Orlando Power Station, according to our tour guide, it was one of the monuments which was messed by the students during apartheid, since they were protesting to learn English and not Afrikaans, since that language was a symbol of South African discrimination, but I haven’t found any sources justifying that information.

– As we are mentioning about the student rebellions during Apartheid, as I wrote previously, according to our tour guide, the Black students of South Africa wanted to learn English but they didn’t have the right to learn English and were forced to learn Afrikaans language instead, like written in that extract, I quote (Source: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/south-Africa/language-policy-and-oppression-south-Africa)

In 1955, a policy of teaching in both English and Afrikaans on a 50-50 basis in the secondary schools was adopted. However, the shortage of black teachers proficient in Afrikaans (all teacher training schools for blacks are in English) allowed this policy to be carried out in only 26% of the schools. In 1976 the black Africans’ hatred of apartheid, and of Afrikaans as the “language of the oppressor,” came to a head in Soweto, a black “township” outside of Johannesburg. A school board there was dismissed in early February for resisting the imposition of Afrikaans. Protest began at that school and swelled over a period of months to the other schools, with the support of teachers, parents, and students.

On 16 June, 15,000 students marched in the streets carrying banners with such slogans as “Blacks are not dustbins – Afrikaans stinks.” At one point police opened fire on a group of these students starting a chain of violence in Soweto that lasted some months and left 172 blacks, many of them in their teens, killed by police bullets. The revolt touched almost every city and village in South Africa that year, reaching far beyond the language issue. Strikes closed businesses and industry, and in Soweto, the government-instituted Bantu Council was forced to resign.

But it seemed that the rebellion of students against Afrikaans learning was still getting on, even after end of Apartheid, like demonstrated in that video on the link http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/south-African-students-protest-Afrikaans-150902065344452.HTML. What is crazy, though, is that while South African students protest against Afrikaans learning, other countries are fond of wanting to learn that language, which they consider as the easiest language they ever learnt in life, like demonstrated in that article on link http://www.pagef30.com/2010/12/why-Afrikaans-is-also-easiest-language.HTML. I even saw a forum discussion on the link http://www.justlanded.com/English/South-Africa/Forums/Language/learn-Afrikaans and what was very shocking was about the ignorance of people behind their will of learning Afrikaans. It reminded me about a school friend of mine who was preparing her Baccalaureate exam in Linguistics and who chose Afrikaans as an additional subject for her exams. The question that I am asking myself though, though I didn’t find any sources on Google about that matter: The fact that foreign people want to learn Afrikaans without knowing about the tragic history behind the Afrikaans language, is that purely ignorance or is that directly or indirectly a sort of insult and offense to the Black South African people?

One of the biggest monuments and sites to visit regarding the students protests against Afrikaans and where we would end our trip later would be the Hector Pieterson Memorial. But before going there, the tour guide, still within the framework of the students rebellion against Afrikaans language, showed us two other monuments which were damaged by the students during the rebellion. The first one was the Regina Mundi Catholic Church of Soweto, which, according to the tour guide, was used by students for boycotting instead of going to school, like demonstrated in that extract, I quote ):

Regina Mundi played a pivotal role in the struggle against apartheid in the second half of the 20th century.[2] Since political meetings in most public places were banned, the church became the main place where Soweto people could meet and discuss. Even funerals often ended up as political meetings. For this reason, Regina Mundi earned the reputation of being one of the main centres of anti-apartheid activism in the province of Gauteng.[1]

During the Soweto uprising of June 16, 1976, when students were shot by the police in Orlando West (with Hector Pieterson and others being killed), many demonstrants fled to Regina Mundi. The police entered the church, firing live ammunition. No one was killed, although many were injured and the church itself, as well as its furniture, decorations, and symbols (for example the marble altar and the statue of Christ), were damaged. Both the interior and the external walls of the church still bear the signs of the shootings.[1]

After the end of apartheid, from 1995 to 1998, several meetings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were held in the church, presided over by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.[1] From 1995 on, funds were raised to restore the church. The campaign eventually collected 1.5 million rands, and restorations were made.[2]

The events of 1976 are commemorated by a dedicated ceremony held in the church every year on June 16.

However, when we came in front of the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, I forgot to ask the tour guide why the name of that church was Regina Mundi. But when I came back home, I retrieved a link expaining the origin of that name, the Regina Mundi being the Latin name for the Mother of the People. It was mostly symbolized by a painting made by artist Laurence Larry Sculy, “The Madonna and the Child of Soweto”, or simply “The Black Madonna”: http://interfaithmary.net/pages/Soweto.htm

Next to the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, I snapped a picture on a wall showing the extract of the Rivonia Treason Trial dated 20th April 1964 saying, I quote: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” As usual this detail arose my curiosity and I did some researches about Rivonia Treason Trial and found that link which explains everything, focussing mostly on the last paragraph, for which the lines written on that wall represent the final conclusion of which would become later a reality for Nelson Mandela after his release from Robben Island: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Prepared_to_Die. That speech was of a duration of 3 hours and was prepared further to which he was saved by 3 people from death penalty: George Bisos, the Greek who saved Nelson Mandela (Source: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2013/12/06/the-greek-who-saved-nelson-mandela/), Arthur Chaskalson (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Chaskalson#Career) and Bram Fischer, for whom Mandela paid tribute after his death in 1975 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bram_Fischer#Tributes). But despite having mentioned only about those 3 men, I saw 4 other additional men who were behind Mandela’s defence during the Rivonia Treason Trial and who are nonetheless worth to be known as well: Joel Joffe (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Joffe,_Baron_Joffe), Harry Schwarz (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Schwarz#Mandela_prison_visitAfter the 1964 Rivonia Trial, where Schwarz had been on the defence team and where his university friend Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, Schwarz was barred from gaining access to Mandela.[33] However, after Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison, various restrictions were lifted upon Mandela, including more lenient visitation rights. On 23 November 1989, Schwarz, following a request from Mandela, visited him in prison.[34] After his visit, Schwarz called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of Mandela, stating that this was “in the interest of all South Africans – black and white – that this should happen as soon as possible”.), Vernon Berrange (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_Berrang%C3%A9#The_Treason_Trial) and Harold Hanson (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Hanson). According to the tour guide, Nelson Mandela acted as a spy in disguise to collect information and was living in a farm which was the headquarter of the ANC. The tour guide added that Nelson Mandela went to Europe to get some help and came back to South Africa via Morocco and Ethiopia, and then was arrested when he landed in South Africa. Regarding Mandela spying, I didn’t retrace any proofs aout what the tour guide told us, but I retraced a Wikipedia document about the Liliesleaf Farm in Northern Johannesburg, which was the secret place where Mandela was operating secretly and maybe spying (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liliesleaf_Farm) But I also saw some sources certifying that there were some foreign agents who operated and prepared Nelson Mandela to come to government and into his spying, such as Niel Bernard (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niel_Barnard), Israeli Mossad Spy Agency (Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/document-israeli-mossad-spy-agency-trained-young-mandela/2013/12/23/9979bc7e-6c1a-11e3-aecc-85cb037b7236_story.html) and the MI6 Headquarters in Brintain, for which Mandela denied the idea of being a MI6 man nor requesting their help into foiling assassination attempts (Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/mar/23/nelsonmandela)

To come back to the rebellion of students against Afrikaans language, the tour guide showed us a police station with a green roof from afar while driving, where students used to manifest during apartheid. I don’t have any documentation regarding that police station, but maybe the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Police#Upholding_apartheid will better explain the involvement of the police force during apartheid.

– When we ended our roaming by visiting the Hector Pieterson Memorial, unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside the museum but I could take a few pictures out of the memorial place and retrieved some rich documentation regarding that young hero, among them the Hector Pieterson memorial (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector_Pieterson_Museum), the young hero Hector Pieterson himself who died in martyr during the student rebellion against Afrikaans language (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector_Pieterson) and the Soweto uprising (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soweto_uprising). But while doing researches, I found a very interesting document about Hector Pieterson’s mother and her decision to forgive what happened to her late son Hector Pieterson, and whom Mandela considered as a great heroine: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/revealed-woman-whose-forgiveness-after-2907567#vpOb227ZyreKvEFQ.97 and another one regarding Hector’s sister who was on the same snapshot screaming near her brother’s dead body carried by another student: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/culture/3882-hector-s-sister-tells-the-story-still-38-years-later-01. However, there was a plaque which captured my attention on the elder student who was carrying Hector Pieterson’s dead body, 18-year-old Mbuyisa Makhubu, which were words from his mother saying, I quote: “Mbuyisa is or was my son, but he is not a hero. In my culture, picking up Hector is not an act of heroism. It was his job as a brother. He left him on the crowd and somebody saw him jumping over Hector. He would never be able to live here.” Those words were from Mbuyisa Makhubu’s mother Ma’Makhubu. And there were very few proofs about what he became with lots of unclear information, such as his so-called emprisonment in Canada (Source: http://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2014/07/11/mysterious_man_in_canadian_jail_is_mbuyisa_makhubu_says_brother_of_antiapartheid_icon.html), family members haing perhaps found him back years later (Source: http://www.news24.com/Live/SouthAfrica/News/Family-believes-they-have-found-Makhubu-a-lost-apartheid-icon-20140813) and unanswered questions regarding him (Source: https://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=71b5bc82-ed08-4e5d-a1cc-096b04848bc5&tab=dfs)

– While we were continuing our trip entering Soweto, we saw a series of male hostels for male workers. Those workers came to Soweto in the aim of having a better life living and could stay in those hostels for months all alone and away from their families, in very cheap and insecure conditions, like mentioned in that extract below, I quote (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/20/magazine/island-of-fear-inside-a-soweto-hostel.html?pagewanted=all)

In the terrible logic of apartheid, townships like Soweto were designed as great reservoirs of cheap black labor to serve the white cities. The hostels, which housed migrant workers from the apartheid-designated black “homelands,” served as a way of topping off this labor pool without allowing the permanent settlements to expand. A certain amount of alienation was implicit in this scheme. The townships were family communities. The hostels were bachelor quarters for men who left their wives and children back home, and who used the township the way a sailor uses a foreign port. The apartheid engineers often aggravated these tensions by grouping hostel dwellers along tribal lines.

“Meadowlands Black Residential Area,” as it was formally designated, is one of more than 200 South African hostels where an estimated million black workers still reside; it is one of eight hostels in Soweto, South Africa’s largest city. Meadowlands is an array of 650 rectangular, single-story buildings of concrete block roofed with corrugated asbestos, each built to house 16 men. They are laid out in rows, like military barracks, along rutted dirt alleyways. The hostel is bounded on the north by flattop hills of earth dug up in the search for gold, on the west by a swath of bombed-out buildings that separate the hostel from the township neighborhood known as Zone One, on the south by the two-lane extension of Soweto Highway and the neighborhoods of Killarney and Mzimhlope.

Then we arrived in front of the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital, which was known, as per our tour guide, for the separation of two newborn twins with heads conjoined and where Winnie Mandela had been working for a couple of times before meeting Nelson Mandela. Before looking for proofs about what the tour guide said, here is a small introduction I found about the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital’s historic (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soweto#Chris_Hani-Baragwanath_Hospital): The Imperial Military Hospital Baragwanath, named after Cornishman John Albert Baragwanath, was built in 1941 during the Second World War to serve as a British Military Hospital. John Albert Baragwanath initially owned the situated site as a hostel, The Wayside Inn, until the British Government paid £328,000 to make it a hospital.[9] Field-Marshal Jan Smuts noted during the opening ceremonies that the facility would be used for the area’s black population after the war. In 1947 King George VI visited and presented medals to the troops there. From this start grew Baragwanath Hospital (as it became known after 1948), reputedly the world’s third largest hospital.[10] In 1997 another name change followed, with the sprawling facility now known as Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in honour of the South African Communist Party leader who was assassinated in 1993 by white extremists. Regarding the twins with heads conjoined, I could retrieve an article dated 1988, certifying that the surgery was successful, but the sad news was that only one twin sister survived and was perfectly healthy, whereas the other one died with pneumonia, one year after her birth: http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/mpho-mathibela-one-siamese-twins-separated-operation-six-months-earlier-leaves-hospital-. Finally, I effectively retrieved a proof about Winnie Mandela working at that hospital, through that extract, I quote: She arrived in Johannesburg to study to be a social worker, doing her training at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. “Winnie was a remarkably effective and dedicated social worker,” writes Emma Gilbey in The Lady, The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela. “The patience and resourcefulness she had demonstrated with her younger brothers and sisters were now put to daily, professional use.”

(Source: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/nelsonmandela/3444-the-women-in-madiba-s-life). Sad though that I didn’t retrieve more sources than that regarding her short career in that hospital, but I think that a visit to that hospital would be worth knowing more about Winnie’s career as a trainee there.

– A little further, we discovered what the tour guide nicknamed with amusement the “Zulu McDonald”. It’s a place where street food is prepared with met freshly prepared before being cooked and then served to its clients. According to the tour guide, that kind of food was much far healthier than the fast food meals and that there were no chances to suffer from food indigestion nor food poisoning with such street meals. and at the same time those street foods are much more affordable and cheaper, like demonstrated by that article from Huffington Post (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ross-resnick/street-food-is-the-new-fa_b_405471.html) And here is an example of street food from Soweto, with the preparation of the Kota sandwich (Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/cathyhuyghe/2013/12/09/street-food-soweto-style-preparing-the-famous-kota-sandwich/#52076dfb6a96)

– A little further, we discovered another interesting place in Soweto, the Freedom Square, also known as the Walter Sisulu Square (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Sisulu_Square) where we retrieved the Freedom Charter, which was created by the anti-apartheid activists. They were made with 9 columns, each of them representing the 9 provinces of South Africa and the 10th column the South Africa overseas, according to what I understood from the tour guide (Source for the Freedom Charter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Charter). Near the Freedom Square there was the Freedom Square Hotel, and according to the tour guide, it was possible for every nationality to book a room there and which is accessible with new equipments and fully modernized.

– When we left the place to go to Mandela’s House, the tour guide mentioned about an anti-apartheid South African artist, Brenda Fassie (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_Fassie) and one of her songs, “My Black President”, which was an anti-apartheid song and which was banned by the De Klerk government during apartheid because of its lyrics: Among several political tracks on the record was “Black President”, written around Mandela’s release from prison. It opened with the verse, “The year 1963/The people’s president/Was taken away by security men/All dressed in a uniform/The brutality, brutality/Oh no, my, my black president”. It was immediately banned by the de Klerk government. (Source: http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/theres-much-more-to-brenda-fassie-than-her-pro-mandela-anthem) and according to the tour guide, Brenda Fassie was even the first black woman to have been cremated, whereas during apartheid the black people didn’t have the right to be cremated after death. I don’t have proofs about Brenda Fassie’s cremation but I retrieved a PDF document which certified cremation as a problem for Black South Africans, which can be doanloaded from site http://www.hts.org.za/index.php/HTS/article/download/492/391. Since during apartheid some artists didn’t have the right to involve politics nor their anti-apartheid activism in their song lyrics, they were forced to disguise their lyrics to sell their songs, at the example of Eddy Grant’s “Gimme Hope Jo’Ana” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimme_Hope_Jo%27anna)

– Before arriving at Nelson Mandela’s house, we drove near another national and international hero who acted against Apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whom our Mauritian archbishop Mgr Ian Ernest visited several times in South Africa. There are so many things to say about that hero which would be insufficient to mention in that blog post but here were his roles during Apartheid (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Tutu#Role_during_apartheid) and since Apartheid in South Africa and worldwide (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Tutu#Role_since_apartheid). I may post something soon about Desmond Tutu among the people who inspired me the most in another blog post later.

MANDELA HOUSE

Then we finally arrived at Mandela’s House, where we snapped so many of his personal documents, pictures, quotes retrieved on his wall banners, pictures of Winnie and her daughters, etc. I could feel by entering that little house, that despite its simpicity, it really meant to be a home for Nelson Mandela and his family and that all the walls of that house were speaking and revealing to me the life of tat wonderful hero when he said: “‘That night I returned with Winnie to No. 8115 in Orlando West. It was only then that I knew in my heart I had left prison. For me No. 8115 was the centre point of my world, the place marked with an X in my mental geography.

(Source: http://www.mandelahouse.co.za/history.asp) You can go on that link as well to have the complete details regarding Mandela House as well.

When we left Mandela House, the tour guide drove us to the final destination of our Johannesburg and Soweto roaming, the Hector Pieterson memorial which I mentioned before while talking about the student rebellion against Afrikaan language. While he was driving us, he mentioned abbout something regarding Winnie Mandela’s house which he showed us during our drive, and on which he precised that her house was to be given as a donation to some foreign celebrities such as late Khadafi from Libya, American actress Jane Fonda and Cuban President Fidel Castro. I am not sure about that matter but it saw an article which seems to illustrate what the tour guide said about that Winnie Mandela House, but which I need to make clearer with the gotour guide on my next visit to Johannesburg: http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2013/12/06/surviving-the-10-days-of-mandela-grief/.

– While we were still on our way to the Hector Pieterson memorial, the tour guide mentioned about a guy who used the sign language during Mandela’s memorial ceremony. But when I did my researches, most of the sources I obtained certified that sign language interpreter for being fake and even caused some complaints from the deaf community of South Africa: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/10510455/Nelson-Mandela-memorial-interpreter-was-a-fake.html but no one knew the reason behind his intentions unless he protested in a video where he admitted being attempted with schizophrenia but that he was following treatments against it (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xX44YFTpQ8). The tour guide also mentioned about the president who succeeded Nelson Mandela after his death, Thabo Mbeki, but I need to come back to Johannesburg to better understand the life of that man, whose I found an article regarding his rivalry against actual president Jacob Zuma: http://www.timeslive.co.za/ilive/2016/02/15/On-the-political-conspiracy-judgement-that-gave-us-Zuma-Thabo-Mbeki1.

Finally, before going back to hotel, while ending our visit to the Hector Pieterson Museum, I stopped at the souvenir shop and saw a few books on the lives of some national heroes, for which I did some quick researches since they also have their part of activism against apartheid and for the welfare and development of South Africa after apartheid:

– Eusebius McKaiser:

Eusebius McKaiser is a political and social analyst at the Wits Centre for Ethics. He is also a popular radio talk show host, a top international debate coach, a master of ceremonies and a public speaker of note. He loves nothing more than a good argument, having been both former National South African Debate Champion and the 2011 World Masters Debate Champion. His analytic articles and columns have been widely published in South African newspapers and the New York Times. McKaiser has studied law and philosophy. He taught philosophy in South Africa and England.

– Jay Naidoo (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Naidoo)

CONCLUSION:

In general, I really enjoyed that experience of my very first Johannesburg roaming and Soweto experience. Before leaving Johannesburg the day after, I met a waitress who was a native from Soweto, a few after I retrieved with great joy Margaret, another adorable waitress I befriended during my first holidays in Johannesburg for Christmas 2015. The waitress Margaret from Alexandra recognized me, and just after, Edna, the one from Soweto, befriended me and I left a little money for the both of them. They wer so happy that they filled me with their motherly blessings and hugged me very often with so much love. I pray that for our next trip to Soweto and Johannesburg, I succeed experiencing a half day or a day with Edna in Soweto to complete my experience there as a human one, and then with Margaret at Alexandra, which, I am sure, has its part of history too in South Africa, especially Johannesburg. I am very thankful also to Pat for all the information that he gave us during that tour for that very first expeirence that we did and during which I have learnt a lot of interesting things through him, in addition to the personal researches I did to verify Pat’s information. However, there are lots of points which I noted down, and which I would like to develop later for my next trip to Johannesburg since they remain either incomplete or unclear to me:

– I would like to know more about the history of beer by visiting the SAB World Beer

– Meaning of the red bricks in the Constitution Court of South Africa, especially why the red color was chosen to build that place as well as the previous prison.

-Does physical disability give you the right to do what you want? Especially when you know that no one can misjudge you? Case of Oscar Pistorius’s trial and the Indian one-legged dancer who was abused by her husband

– The new electric central at the entrance of Soweto: which link does it have with the other known Soweto power plant (Orlando Power Station)?

– Winnie Mandela’s career at the Chris Hani-B. Hospital: A place which is worth to visit since maybe we can obtain more details about Winnie’s career.

– Was the Orlando Power Station damanged by the students protesting against Afrikaans language learning during apartheid?

– The Liliesreaf Farm where Mandela was secretly operating and, at the same time, working as a farmer under a pseudonym, David Motsamayi, and which is a place worth to be visited too.

– Why, among the 7 Defence Lawyers in the Rivonia Treason Trial, should we focus especially on Chaskalson, Fisher and Bisos more than the other ones, as Mandela’s saviors against death penalty?

– Was late singer Brenda Fassie really the first black woman cremated in South Africa?

– Big Plan on Desmond Tutu’s life and achievements

– Was Shebeen beer made with Soka, which made of it a dangerous alcohol drink?

– Was Winnie Mandela’s house given as a donation to Khadafi, Fidel Castro and Jane Fonda?

– After Mandela: The rivalry between Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma: an instable presidency?

  • The beautiful love story between activist Jay Naidoo and his Quebecoise wife, the novelist Lucie Page