“Coloured” and Asian cultures
As you have learned, in 1980 there were four ethnic groups in South Africa: Whites, Blacks, Asians and those of mixed race called “Coloured”. The Coloured were from marriages between Blacks and Whites at the beginning of the arrival of Europeans. Generally, Coloured spoke Afrikaans and were better educated than Blacks but less so than Whites. Members of the same family could be classified as Whites, Coloured or Blacks. There was no separate Coloured culture, but within the Coloured cultures, some groups were closer to Whites, others to Asians and still others to Blacks.
Indians, Chinese and others from Asia formed a small part of the South African population, but they did bring with them a rich culture. Although they learned Afrikaans and English at school and used it every day, these communities continued to use their native language and to practice their original traditions.
Author: Marianne Giguère
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