South African Zulu cultural differences

From living and working alongside natives in Durban, SA, for the last few months, I have noticed several cultural difference. Some of these are interesting comparison to the UK; others I have found challenging while being in Durban.

– Parents have to pay for their children to go to crèche or school, unless the family lives on the farm. (Approx. 700R per term for crèche and 1800R per year for secondary school).

– Children can only move onto the next grade if they have passed their exams.

– The main qualifications that are taken are ‘matrice’.

-Grade R (5-6 year olds) are taught in Creches.

– There are many unregistered Creches around the city.

– It cost around 250R – 300R to visit a doctor plus paying for medication.

– Zulu people eat huge potions consisting of lots of carbs and meat.

– They are not restricted by time so transport will not be kept to schedule.

– Taxis are transport that are mini-vans that fit as many people as possible in them with loud, pumping music with no set route.

– Traffic lights are called robots and don’t always work so you have to cross at your own risk.

– The girls like to shower together.

– The girls like to change their hair regularly.

– Zulu dancing is usually done to a drum beat and includes lots of high kicks.

– There is still a divide between white and black people.

– In the centre of Durban, you will only see black people walking around.

– Airtime is brought for mobile phones to get internet.

– In general, British people are more sensitive and show more emotion than Zulu people.

– Girls like to change their hairstyle  every month.

– UK show more expressive non-verbal communication

– They like to eat there meal in silence.

– ‘If’ is a negative word.

– They eat braai’s in SA, whereas it is BBQ in the UK.

– Just now means at some point in the future.

– The Isizulu language has clicks (it’s so cool)

– Food is an important part of the culture.

-Men give cows to the parents of the women they want to marry.

– Men can have as many wives as they can afford.

-There are many cultural traditions.

– Men will ask you to marry them on the streets.


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