Game of Groans | A South African Braai by any Other Name

Daily prompt: Game of Groans The South African Braai, a National Pastime. By any other name would be just as gruesome. But rock up Bru we gonna have a jol.

Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.

It’s Heritage Day. All the women are talking about what they will wear and what they will bring to eat. There is a distinct twittering in the air. The men are grumbling. I am inwardly groaning about the thought of the braai topic, (a South African barbecue), which I knew would come up. My stomach turned because I knew everyone wanted a spit-braai and I already felt the sour taste of nausea at the back of my throat. Get real, we are living in the 21st Century, we are not Cro Magnon men and women, we don’t even have the teeth to tear hunks of meat off chunks of broken bone. I knew the sight of an animal turning on a spit, together with the sickly slightly sweet smell, would be too much for me. I can tolerate a chop chucked on a grill, but an actual whole animal, now that is just too gruesome and to my mind barbaric. In any event what would I wear, I certainly did not want to wear the garb of the Colonialist from back in the day? I settle on the “doek” headdress and outfit of the Xhosa. I look like a cross between Little Bo Peep and Mary had a Little Lamb, an angelic expression and nun like clasped hands. We all looked a bit idiotic, check out the gangster on the right.

Heritage Day at Work

To now turn onto the flip side:

“Rock up Bru we gonna have a jol. Kif spit-braai and all you can drink ‘n all.”

It will be so cool. All the women will huddle over the food, cooked from recipes given them from their gogos, ma’s, grandmothers and oumas, in real South African style. The men will commandeer the fire, tending to their hunt, back slapping, drinking and laughing, squinting teary eyed at one another through the smoke. This is fun, fun, fun. You know mos, we have sunny skies and Chevrolet.

Image courtesy of Carol Knox.

Here is an old radio ad about: braaivleis, (barbecue meat), sunny skies and Chevrolet from the 1970’s:

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