Women in Touch Luncheon Club

Professor Rosalie Finlayson

Professor Rosalie Finlayson, with an impressive and rather intimidating resume under her belt, addressed WIZO’s Women in Touch, Pretoria lunch group on Monday. The topic: Understanding Cultural Differences. Her eloquent, dynamic AND entertaining presentation was warmly received by her audience. Since 1984, Rosalie held the position of full Professor – Head of Xhosa in the Department of African Languages at UNISA and a fluent speaker of 9 of our 11 official languages of Southern Africa . She has recently retired and is enjoying it immensely.

Language and culture are inexplicably intertwined. When language dies, culture dies. To manage diversity and to communicate effectively becomes ever more important in the rapidly changing South Africa. There is too much that is misunderstood. This arises from the intercultural misinterpretation of traditions and customs. Behaviour and lack of respect for other cultures is bound to occur. We should educate ourselves in understanding behavioural forms of respect in other groups/cultures. Verbal and non-verbal communication between the groups is of paramount importance. Appreciating the use of language and protocol, as well as greetings, respect, manners, and time will make for good and effective communication between the cultures.

Rosalie, reminded us that time is money and respect in all ‘languages’ and we need to negotiate the value and importance of time. It’s up to each one of us to show a willingness to communicate and extend trust across the cultural divide.


About d1nx

Techno-Gran living and working in Pretoria, South Africa and spending 3 months of the year with my 2 daughters and their husbands and 5 grandchildren on the East Bay, Northern Californa. Started blogging on my recovery from Spinal surgery in 2007 and have taken many twists and turns on my life's journey and varying chapters of my life.
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4 Responses to Women in Touch Luncheon Club

  1. Tokeloshe says:

    That’s amazing 9 Languages!

    It must have been very interesting.

    This is a very good post.

    It is so true, there are many different cultures in Calgary, I have learned a lot from them and still have a lot to learn.

    Many Canadians are surprised to hear that I am Afrikaans. After more than 10 years, I still think in Afrikaans.

    Take care,

    • d1nx says:

      Hi Toks. It was really interesting – I suddenly realised that all my problems with other cultures had to do with their customs. And if I wanted to be more tolerant, I would need to learn their customs and what they consider protocol and respect – it’s very different to ours.
      She’s an amazing and very friendly warm women – she spoke brilliantly.

      I’m sure you’ll always think and dream in Afrikaans… that is still your mother tongue. Don’t you and your hubs talk Afrik to each other? When we lived in Israel, my son was 5. By the time he turned 6 he started dreaming in Hebrew – he was fluent. But my girls where 12 and 13, so although their Hebrew was good, they never lost their English as their thinking language.
      There again, their culture was different to ours and we had to fit in – as they say, when in Rome… :)
      Have a good weekend my friend.
      Lots of love and hugs xxx

  2. Dizzy says:

    Hey Girl, just wanted to let you know…I was here ;) You been a busy bee, hmm? xxx


    • d1nx says:

      Hello my love. Don’t ask where I’ve been… sorry this took so long. Yep. busy is an understatement … will write to you now. Dankie vir die inloer :) How’s my Afrikaans? LOL xxx

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