Use language to grow as a people

I am a devoted reader of Charles Mogale's column.

I am a devoted reader of Charles Mogale's column.

I enjoy his views on a number of topics. His personal experiences in Flipside make the column a very enjoyable read.

But his last column, "A few words can speak volumes", was a bit out of touch with reality.

I'm an Afrikaans mlungu just on the other side of 34 and I'm very proud of my command of the Zulu language. Where I grew up and worked in Natal, languages are mixed like a fruit salad.

Every mlungu had a Zulu nickname and Zulu words became part of my language from an early age.

And rightly so, since this was the community and culture in which I lived (Zulus, Shonas, Xhosas, Indians, English and the "Boere" ).

As Mogale said, embracing different cultures advances reconciliation, but I think it also builds a better understanding of one's own position in relation to various cultures.

We are all human at the end of the day and can learn a great deal from each other.

I assume that Mogale has never lived in KZN, otherwise he would have known or experienced this and used it as an example in Flipside.

This adoption of languages by whities might be a pheno- menon specific to KZN as I have not experienced it in the rest of the country.

Riaan Vermeulen, by e-mail