Friday, 4 May 2007

Culture club

In South Africa, before the first 'free and fair' elections in 1994, new customs had to be accommodated - or maybe I should say old customs. Basically, through years of apartheid, black South Africans had been allowed no freedom of expression and, as protests became legalised in the early 90s, a new code of acceptable political behaviour was written.

One of the more controversial topics at the time was that of 'cultural weapons'. Tribal Africans believe in their right to carry traditional arms as a means of demonstrating their strength when making a political point. They were not (necessarily) to be used as weapons, but rather for show. Think All Blacks doing a hakka before a rugby international and you'll get the idea.

In principle this all sounds fine. That is until you're faced with 3000 angry Zulus wielding pangas and knobkerries. But, I digress. Cultural weapons were (and are), controversially, tolerated in South Africa as long as they do not lead to violence.

So what has this to do with Scotland, you ask. Well, in yesterday's Herald an article caught my eye. A man entered a polling station and in a most unsporting fashion destroyed ballot boxes and informational posters before being dragged off to court. His cultural weapon of choice (and bear in mind he is Scottish now)... the golf club. He was being charged with, and I quote,'breach of the peace, vandalism, possession of an offensive weapon...' An offensive golf club??? In Scotland??? Did it have a Union Jack emblazoned on its grip?

Still, Holyrood had better watch out. The golfers are getting restless!

8 comments:

Cursed Tea said...

great post - like your blog!

At last a decent use for a golf club rather than chasing a small white ball around some grass!! (i'm perpetually embarassed that my wee country came up with that one!!)
Although today I'd like to use one to knock some sense into the French!!

Best Wishes
Kirsty

Cursed Tea said...

where are you from by the way?

I've linked your blog - which is blogger speak for "i'll be back"....

lady macleod said...

Brilliant!

The Good Woman said...

Hey!

The Scots are here! Welcome Kirsty and Lady MacLeod.

Kirsty - I'm from Cape Town, South Africa. One day I'll get back there.

And Lady M - please send my regards to Morocco. I haven't seen much of North Africa but now have friends moving to Tunisia and Libya so hope to see more soon.

Katie said...

I don't normally think of a golf club as a weapon, but if someone started swinging one in my direction you can bet I'd run like hell.

Hubris said...

Whilst your blog is undoubtedly well crafted and funny, I am sad that you are having such a miserable time in Scotland. Obviously this is down to the fact that we Scots suffer from a lunacy, perhaps caused by cerebral hypothermia.

I wish I could apologise wholeheartedly on behalf of this miserable little country. Undoubtedly things are far better in SA. Unquestionably I am proud of a nation which in the last week has stood up against Trident, the War in Iraq, and environmental rape. Personally I am more passionate about these issues than the temperature.

Please don't waste your time here being miserable and blogging about it. Go out. Meet some people. Learn some things.

The Good Woman said...

Dear Hubris

I deserved that one. But it hurts none the less.

Ros said...

Interesting to know.