By Cindy Venter
For as long as I can remember the highlight of my year is the hope and positive prospects that the new year brings. It is as if we symbolically look at the new year as a “new beginning”, another chance to improve ourselves, or to make the changes that we actually wanted to make last year, or even the year before that.
Am I the only one who thinks that 2020’s new year was an absolute farce? The night of 31 December 2019 we were on the beach; huddled around a campfire surrounded by friends. At midnight we jumped up and filled with hope hugged one another (hugging of all things!) and watched the fireworks while wishing each other a happy new year. Little did we know what this year will bring about. Long story short, it was not the positive symbolic “new beginning” I expected.
A thing of the Afrikaner culture one can appreciate is our sense of humour. Since the pandemic is in full swing in South Africa, everyone is joking about how 2020 is actually just broken and everywhere you hear people say that they cannot wait for 2021; that they have written off this year and will try again next year. We look froward to the hope that the new year brings out of habit, but let’s take a look at the hope we were able to create in the midst of a pandemic.
Solidarity has launched a Crisis Fund that raised more than R24 million to provide help to communities and which enabled children to attend their classes online via Wolkskool. A community’s contributions made all this possible. Helping Hand launched a Community Recovery Program that will take care of our members’ wellbeing. The Work Recovery Programme will ensure that communities are connected, protected and empowered so that they can help each other.
Everything in this year was not only bad. As a cultural community we learnt that we are resilient. We realised the power of the youth; how they could adjust to every announcement and still were able to laugh and play. Once again, we realised the importance of family and friends and being together, and in many cases this time brought families together again. Even if this is the only good thing that comes from all this, it is enough for me.
In 2020 I realised that we are all living for the end of the year. We count down the days until our December holiday. We wish the time would pass because we want to rest, and then, in the blink of an eye it is March and we once again dream of a December holiday. Isn’t it time that we start looking forward to today? I realised that I do not want to wait for the holiday before doing any trouble to visit my family. I do not need new year’s resolutions to make a positive change. As a community we made 2020 bearable for one another. Let us take this feeling of hope, togetherness and unity to 2021. Today is a new day and you will never be as young as you are today, so enjoy it now.