Tag Archives: labarang-gatjie

part one: 169 ways to know if you’re coloured

I’ve been told I’m “not coloured enough”. Nigerian please. I mean, check out my colours via Adobe Kuler.

Dominique shades copy

Disclaimer: This article is best read by those who understand Cape Coloured – ie South Africans. The subtleties will be TOTALLY lost in translation.

As extra evidence of my colourfulness here’s a ‘tseklist (checklist) for the naysayers and for those who always need to label things and people. If you tick 100 or more of these, you can safely assume you ARE coloured. And I mean Cape Coloured. None of that watered-down Jo’burg crap. We are a wonderful breed and a source of many inspirational quotes, wisdoms, giggles and mass blanching at family gatherings and public outings – and proudly so.

And just in case you want to bring out the race card or get offended – opinions are like the proverbial donkey, everyone has one – these musings come from some personal and some shared experiences but mostly my own memories. These opinions are (probably and definitely) not shared by my husband, child, family or friends. I have also spelt most words phonetically and not necessarily accurately, so get some dip for that chip en hou jou fokken in, because …

  1. You know how to give a good lammie.
  2. You’re missing two front teeth. On purpose.
  3. Your mother made you sit with rollers in your hair until your scalp bled. Then you had to put on a swirlkous.
  4. You’ve gone to the shop in rollers/doek/swirlkous.
  5. You seeing mist outside brings on a sense of anguish akin only to that felt by people in movies upon seeing zombies.
  6. You own at least 12 anti-frizz products and they either make your hair cake like icing or flake like snow.
  7. You have a highfalutin voice for the phone and a coloured voice for everything else.
  8. You use and know words like jislaaik, laaitie, naai man, kakmy bru, jou ma se poes, voetsek and tati. Sometimes even in the same sentence.
  9. You use the words kroeskop, boesman and kortkoppie as an insult towards your fellow man.
  10. Your brother uses phrases like “die lelik is niks, maar die STUPID …!
  11. You know what jits means.
  12. If there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet available, you’re not too shy to go back for seconds, thirds or even fourths.
  13. You’ve used or been at the receiving end of the phrase “keep you white“.
  14. You end every sentence with nih.
  15. You ate smoortjie every Saturday night as a child.
  16. You know that a great Gatsby is something with chips, tomato sauce, lots of magenta viennas and no Leonardo.
  17. Your mom made you fried French polony sandwiches in primary school.
  18. Every labarang-gatjie your Moslem neighbour would bring over ornately decorated biscuits with little silver balls and angelica on them. They were a joy.
  19. Your mother warned you not to be ougat and to sit with your knees together at all times.
  20. Your mother told you “nice girls don’t laugh uitgelaat“.
  21. You have one of these combos: light eyes + dark skin OR kroes hair + fair skin OR dead straight hair + dark skin.
  22. You went to church at least once a year as a child. At Christmas time. In shiny shoes and new clothes.
  23. At Christmas time your parents bought pan peanuts, mebos, chocolate covered Brazil nuts, peanut clusters and those jelly sweets shaped like citrus halves at Wellingtons Fruit Growers. But you couldn’t eat them – they were ‘for the guests’.
  24. Your dad used to take your mom flower-shopping on Adderley Street every Saturday evening and you’d stand in front of the air vents so that the warm air blew against your legs. And the flower ladies always gave you a flower because “my, but your derrie is SO beautiful!”.
  25. You say derrie not daddy.
  26. You used to shop for bridge rolls at Rosmead Superette on Saturday mornings and sneakily scoff the tiny warm rolls in the back of the car.
  27. You’re a Seventh Day Adventist.
  28. You’re a Jehovah’s Witness.
  29. You know what a happy clappy is.
  30. You are a happy clappy.
  31. As a child you liked Niknaks, Flings, Fizzers, sherbert, bunnylicks, Coo-ee and peanut butter and golden syrup sandwiches.
  32. You were the first child in your primary school to wear braces on your teeth, so the one boy called you “tanne manne josster‘. You still do not know what this means.
  33. You have a smoky rust bucket truck/van/bakkie/car/motorbike that you rev noisily in front of your/your neighbour’s house or in your yard, day and night.
  34. You hoot loudly when you arrive in your car and hoot when you leave.
  35. Your head barely reaches the dashboard (you like bucket seats).
  36. You drive with your arm straight out, holding the steering wheel with one hand.
  37. You have spoilers, fins and VIP-worthy black-tinted windows.
  38. When you have parties you say drunken, loud, drawn-out goodbyes on the pavement, in the early hours of the morning.
  39. Every social gathering you’re at, either ends in a feud or a shirtless fight in the street.
  40. You braai every weekend. Even in winter.
  41. You eat meat at least six times a week.
  42. You think eating salads is ‘white’.
  43. You’ve hosted at least one It’s A Pleasure Party.
  44. Your parents had their portraits taken at Van Kalker.
  45. Your mother makes Three-Carb meals like tomato bredie (lamb chops, tomatoes, potatoes AND spaghetti served with white rice).
  46. You were brought up on green bean stew, soup with marrow bones and dumplings, bean curry and breyani.
  47. You owned a tape recorder in the ’70s and made tapes of the whole family singing.
  48. Your mom cooks with dhania – WTF’s coriander/cilantro?
  49. You played with pitchy balls as a child and ate sour figs out of a little brown bag.
  50. Your parents had a beloved flower seller on the Grand Parade called Dol.

tbc …