Søk i stiler

Being young in South Africa vs. Norway

Stilen fokuserer på forskjellene på det å være ung i Sør-Afrika og Norge, på godt og vondt.
Sjanger:EssayLastet opp:04.11.2005
Tema:Amerikanske samfunn
Norge og utlandet

What is South Africa? There is a huge difference between being black and white, rich and poor. Though big changes and improvements has been made in the past 15 years since the time of apartheid, in South Africa being black or white is not the same thing! My focus goes to the average South African black teenager and the average Norwegian teenager.


I am sitting here with my own computer, paid for by the school. The big watch at the bus station is showing 2.05 pm. I am on my way home. Later today I might go to a party, or buy myself a new pair of boots. I am tired of my old ones. I think in South Africa some feel blessed that they even have shoes! I bet some feel appreciative that they have the opportunity to go to school. I think they have a lot of perspectives and knowledge that we do not learn or experience at all in this part of the world.


I feel almost a little embarrassed when I compare my perspective of reality to an average black teenager in South Africa. People at my age work 15 hours a day for the same pay I get to clean my own room! It is hard to imagine, right?


Over 50% of South Africa’s population is uneducated. This is a pretty scary thought considering that 90% of South Africa’s population is between 15-35 years old. These are the people who are going to govern and develop the country in the future.


In Norway everyone who has finished primary school get a right to go to high school. Because Norway is such a wealthy country our government makes sure that we get everything we need. Our health is taken care of, our educational system is good and there is always somewhere to go if you need a roof over your head. We have it all. We never have to question if there is going to be food on the table next month. We expect everything to be taken care of. This is how our community works. I am thinking that is not the case for the average South African teenager.


One assumption that I have is that South African teenagers are much more independent, and prepared or used to rough times, compared to Norwegian teenagers whose knowledge about violence and misery is mostly experienced through TV screens or computer games. I do not know for sure, but from what I have found so far, I assume that a South African teenager’s social conditions and rough past have them grow up faster than a Norwegian teenager.


It is a possibility that Norwegian teenagers get treated like kids much longer. Sometimes I get the impression that anger and pain are not accepted feelings in our society, though denying them will not make them disappear! There is a reason why Norway has the largest rate of suicide among teenagers – in the world! One can only wonder why. I am not saying that South Africa has a better social culture, because both cultures have advantages and disadvantages.


That was social differences. Materialistically Norway is miles ahead of South Africa. As I mentioned, everything is taken care of: school, transport to school, school books etc. there are so many things we do not even have to think about that is an every day worry for a South African. For example: will there be food on the table? Will there even be a table? What will happen if someone gets sick? In Norway a school will be closed if there is not a certain amount of fresh air in a room with a certain amount of students. In South Africa that concern is probably on the bottom of the priority list. I realize that it can seem a little judgemental against Norwegian teenagers to claim that they are spoiled and unappreciative. But looking at it in a large perspective I think we should- with all our resources, be more active and conscious of our global issues.


I am under the impression that people who come from nothing fight harder, and give more of themselves than those of us who is fortunate and have a lot. Is that right? And is that how we want it to be? We are without doubt more fortunate and privileged than the average South African teenager. We have it all! I know I have a bright looking future; everything I need is right in front of me.


Then one can speculate if our materialistic advantage makes us happier than the South Africans. Probably in some ways – for some, but then again we have the highest rate of suicide among young people. What does that tell us?


Looking at it from another perspective we should not sweep under the carpet that what teenagers in South Africa experience every day is far worse than our daily challenges. We have access to so much more resources. We have so much more funds!


From my point of view, the situation we are in now can be compared to the safety routine on air planes: first put the mask on yourself; then put the mask on the person next to you. We got our mask on, and we have had it on for quite some time. Now, it is time to help the ones next to us!

Kommentarer fra brukere

En gang i blant skrives det kommentarer som mangler seriøsitet eller som ikke har noe med oppgavens tema å gjøre. Hjelp oss å rydde! Klikk 'varsle' nederst til høyre på de meldinger du mener må bort. Så fjerner redaksjonen kommentarene etter hvert.

12.03.2014 22:50

Wow, tusen takk.. Akkurat det jeg trengte. Har muntlig eksamen i engelsk om to dager, og skal nettopp sammenligne Norge og et engelsk-språklig land.. Dette var rett og slett perfekt, så nå har jeg Sør-Afrika som det landet jeg skal sammenligne med Norge! Tusen takk!

15.03.2007 20:15

Veldig bra oppgave, fikk masse bruk for den når jeg skulle skrive min skoleoppgave om Sør-Afrika. Good work Wink ;-\)

17.01.2007 20:30


26.02.2008 09:31

Interesting article. In South Africa we have the resources - look at the budget for education, look at how many educators we have.

Why then don't our teenagers get the education, guaranteed in our constitution? Why are schools, which started mid January, still waiting to receive textbooks at the end of February? Why are white educators, with years of experience, at home? Why do educators go on strike weeks before the final exams of grade 12 learners? Why do learners at school get stabbed and shot by fellow learners? Find the answers to these question, and many more, and you will understand.

07.01.2009 21:55

South Africa is a complex society. Much more complex than for example the Norwegian society. You obviously have visited South Africa and had the typical Westerner experience. Usually Westerners are quick to point out how the blacks are suffering in SA, but whites are suffering too. Please, the problems in South Africa apply to its black and white populations (as well as the other minority groups). I know this was not the focus of your blog, but you paint racial misrepresentation of South Africa. There is enough racial rhetoric coming from inside South Africa.

South Africa is one country and the same opportunities are available to all its citizens irrespective of race. There are poor blacks AND poor whites living in South Africa. Remember that the South Africa’s white population is small and therefore poor whites are not that easy to spot. But, proportionally the poor white population is growing fast in SA and they do exist!

The ANC may have been good freedom fighters, but definitely not good caretakers of a country. The ANC is too busy with their ideological crusade and in the process the ANC is neglecting the creation of sustainable jobs, educating the poor, and increasing the living standards of the masses.

If you truly want to help South Africa and its poor masses then you should rather write about how the ANC is mismanaging the country in pursuit of its own gratifications. Don’t fall into the usual “do-good” trap of focusing on the poor blacks.

Not one child in South Africa needs to be poor and underprivileged. For that to happen the ANC must make sensible long-term decisions and not chase their black ideological crusade or target cheap votes for the next election. Unfortunately the ANC will do what it takes to stay in power. Even if that means robbing children, black AND white, of their opportunities.

17.11.2009 16:36

hvilken karakter fikk du på denne, og hvilken klasse går du i?  Smile :-\)

08.10.2014 14:00

Bra jobba  Smile :-\)

06.09.2017 13:43

Tusen takk for denne hjelpte meg meget

Legg inn en melding!
Obs! Meldinger som ikke omhandler oppgavens innhold slettes. Det samme gjelder meldinger uten stor grad av saklighet.
Ditt navn      Din e-mail (valgfritt)
Din kommentar (HTML-tagger fjernes)

Req.time: 0.022 sec - 1 pageviews