July 14, 2016
Ruth Joy Chetty
I am the one who the Coloureds call Indian, and the Indians call Coloured. From somewhere in the middle.
I am from the teddy bear I still sleep with at night, the apple green walls of my room and the punjabi that hangs in my closet.
I am from Sunny and Silvie, Alic & Adeline, Lazarus, Joy and yes, even from Jean - Paul.
I am from those whose tears and blood made it possible for me to be here. From the men and women whose names I will never know.
I am from chicken curry and rice. Making beans, road tripping across Europe and South Africa.
From braai’s & potjiekos, to braai’s on the manifold of a car.
I am from my boeta that says ‘awe bra’. From a dad who pronounces fish as ‘feeeeeesh’, from a family who tell me to take care of my ‘friends’. I am from my mommy’s tummy.
I am from people who believe in the power of prayer, the power of family and the power of unity. I am from a country that fought for equality, freedom and the basic right to live.
I am from sorgi and burfi, rooibos tea and condensed milk. From pap en wors, biltong and mebos.
I am from sunny days and blue skies. Strong South Easters and twinkles of rain in the sky.
I am from jeuging and laughing until you cry. From gating the ones you love, stay awakes, mad hikes, sliding down mountains on your bum.
Eating masala steak gatsby’s with my math teacher, to chip rolls and Aneesa’s parcels.
I am neither black. I am neither white.
I am from late nights and sleeping until the sun shines. From writing my favourite songs in the shower, and Facebooking 24/7. I am from my church, and all the crazy people I worship with.
I am from those moments of pain, where I’m hated on, because of my skin. My accent. My blood.
I am from the times of never feeling like I fit in, and always knowing that I don’t belong.
I am from a family home. One global village.
From all races and walks of life.
From the Tamils and the Telugu’s, the Coloureds, and all that go with it.
I am from wealth. I am from poverty.
I am from the days of not quite knowing who I am.
I am from the countless times I have been called things that should not be spoken. From brown Indian bitch, black cow, even worthless immigrant, being told I look like I just stepped off a boat.
I am from these things. These moments. But they are not me.
I am Love, Joy, Peace and Hope.
I am Indian.
I am Coloured.
I am Black.
I am White.
I am Ruth Joy Chetty, and I am South African.
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