Living and Teaching Unity – Arthie and Brian Moore

Da Moores 2012 Arthie, Brian and Family‘Living and Teaching Unity’

An excerpt from: Golden Room.

Many cross cultural couples will readily include in their list of the benefits of being in a cross cultural relationship, the delight in being able to have two weddings that reflect their dual cultural heritage.But for Arthie and Brian Moore of South Africa, two weddings wasn’t quite enough to reflect, represent and celebrate this couple’s inspiring journey. They have in fact married each other seven times, and the second wedding was a surprise wedding!

Their story begins with a dream. The amazing and almost unbelievably accurate dream of a young girl in year seven at school, about the kind of man she wanted to marry. And the dream of a nation that it would one day be free from apartheid.Arthie grew up as a fourth generation Asian South African in a Hindu family classed as ‘Indian’..

Unusually her family came from divergent socio- economic backgrounds, with entrepreneurs on one side and fishermen and carpenters on the other side, her roots stemmed from indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent.

From an early age Arthie’s family understood she was somewhat rebellious and determined, a person who knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it. For a school project Arthie wrote out her dreams where she described exactly who she would marry and what they would do with their lives together; her future husband would also be tall with blue eyes and blonde hair.

Perhaps her family only gave cursory attention to this detail. After all in the South Africa of this time White people and Asian, ‘Coloured’ and Black people had very little interaction. There were separate neighbourhoods, separate schools, separate churches, and separate sports leagues. In effect, just as the policy intended, -apartheid meaning separateness- the people of South Africa were separated in every conceivable way.

The ‘races’ of South Africa certainly did not intermarry. (more) via www.goldenroom.co.uk.

Racist name calling in South Africa.

Name calling never helps.
In South Africa it is deemed hate speech to use the “k” word, particularly if the person saying it is not black. However, as previously stated I have heard on very rare occasions black people using it on each other. The word (kaffir), whatever its origins, is simply hurtful and hateful and not acceptable.
However many black people find it acceptable to call a white person Umlungu (Zulu), Ngamla (Sotho); and Afrikaaner is called “iBhunu” (Boer or farmer); a Muslim would be called a “iSulumani”; and person of Indian descent a “iKhula”. The latter comes from the term Coolie. Any of these names group people in a manner which makes it easier to “define”, or “hate” them. This is simply prejudice at work.
Our politicians – some of whom fought the “struggle” for peace against the Apartheid regime sing old struggle songs – such as “Kill the farmer.” This targets the white group in South Africa, in particular people of Afrikaans descent.
The challenge here is that everything else except the use of the “K” word are not seen as hate speech – by the perpetrators. They believe that they have the right to say and sing divisive and hateful things. Until we can build a nation where we can clearly state One South Africa, One Nation and “At the level of respect, all people are equal” we will still live in a land of “them and us.”
To add a few other dimensions even within, so-called similar races, there exist names for each other. English speaking South Africans are some-times called “Rooineks and Soutpiele” the first meaning rednecks – from the sunburnt appearance of the British soldiers fighting in the Anglo-Boer war. The second is a bit rough and I will not translate it here. Some English speakers call Afrikaners “Dutchmen.” None of which are acceptable.
Amongst Indian-speaking South Africans the word “Coolie” and it’s African language equivalents are not acceptable. Many of this group will call themselves “Charous” – very few however allow others to do so. There are further divisions amongst those who originate from North and South India, with the Hindi-speaking northerners being known as Roti-ous and the Tamil speaking as Porridge-ous. This is derived from the flat bread cooking of the Hindi speakers and the porridge used in prayer ceremonies by the Tamil speaking people. This has become a more fun way to describe each other.
The descriptions of other groups by South Africans of Indian descent – such as vet-ous (White people), Slam-ous (Muslim people) and Bruin-ous are some of the many colourful ways to single out members of other race and religious groups. (The word “ous” is Afrikaans slang for people.)
And then in Africa, tribalism enters into the equation. This is becoming more and more prevalent. We are occasionally called in to resolve team conflict where there are no white people. One of the main challenges listed is racism. Because the cultural beliefs and traditions are so different one group may describe the other as, “animals.”
We do not need to separate by group, this prevents us from knowing people as humans. The time has long come that we should respect each other and venture into other diverse circles to find out what makes us tick. Are we so different? Or are we a bunch of human beings from wonderfully different diversities that have been tainted by our histories. Sadly we are being poisoned by the new wave of political utterings, too.
Let us not make the mistakes of the past. Let us build the future together – based in respect.
Brian V Moore 14 June 2012

Feedback from a successful team conflict resolution program

 Celebrating Humanity Team conflict resolution programs remove conflict from teams, through celebration, agreements, clearing and individual accountability.
Here is some feedback from a recent client:-
From a Sales Managers point of view on the training program Celebrating Humanity I found that as a head of department in the Sales division it was certainly beneficial to my whole team. 
I have noticed that their attitude towards one another and to their work has improved remarkably. There is a sense of urgency, motivation and commitment to evaluate a situation before making a decision on certain aspects of their job functions.
The Teambuilding: This was interesting and informative and gave me a different view on my staff I thought that I knew them all regarding their habits and what they did in their everyday activities both at work and on the home front “was I surprised” each individual had similar concerns which was not too much of a issue but had not been voiced in as much detail .This is where the trust and transparency filtered through even more that ever. 
I am perceived as an honest and trustworthy member in my department and this was nice to know that we collectively were brought closer together in sharing our views as a Team rather than individuals.
Methodologies: The methodologies that were applied in achieving the interaction between on another were how I shall say “INTERESTING”. It reminds me of the old saying Back To Basics how true this is, a simple good morning how are you, and how your weekend was is a great opener in any conversation followed with a Smile. 
For one to have the courage and trust in revealing ones personal problems, concerns, and even thoughts on a particular issue is normally a tedious extracting process, not the case when face to face as the exercise revealed where we say opposite one another and reveled our thought and concerns one felt almost obliged to spill all.
The perception that I had of some of the staff “in other departments “was misconstrued. I found them to be transparent and almost enthusiastic to tell me everything they possibly could in the short space of time that we had.
Ability to work with different cultures: This is an area that needs lots of work; it’s too easy to assume that people must answer you back in your home language. I need to take the time to learn the ways and cultures of those we interact with on a day to day basis.Just the basics will be a huge stepping stone forward, too often one feels not so much as embarrassed but more “not informed “well enough to attempt a simple SAWUBONA as an example to someone that we see on a day to day basis .We slip into our comfort zone and use our own native language. 
The body language I found interesting and different in each culture that I encountered as well.
Conclusion: Anyone that is willing to change for the better, the company and in the way they approach life in general will be pleasantly surprised of the outcome of this program. It has given me a different prospective on my staff and a better understanding of how they feel. 
The “buy in” from all has been fantastic and in particular an approach on how to “fix “issues is a joint venture between ourselves as “A Team”. The interaction with other department is much more “transparent”. A huge stepping stone in the right direction.
From: Dave Finch                                        Date: 3rd February 2012

Posted by Brian V Moore


Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457