I stood in the galery at Carli's school at the end year prize giving assembly looking down at my daughter where she is standing up right and singing with her schoolmates the Australian national anthem. It reminded me of our/my days at Arcadia Primary and Waterkloof Primary.
It was my first time having the opportunity to sing the National Anthem and suddenly I was confronted with the option would I sing along or not..to be or not to be...conforming, accepting, disregarding, enjoying, embracing, forgetting... what shall it be? I experienced in those few minutes a mixture of emotions which I could not explain to myself and am still having troubles with. Gustaf standing next to me detected a shiny eye and gave a supporting chuckle and said, "Our's (meaning the South African Anthem) is nicer." To which I respond, yeah but this is also nice and has beautiful words.
Am I ready to let go of 'Nkosi Sikele Africa..' I don't know, I am soooo proud to tell people I am a South African and an African for that matter but here I am in a new country who has opened her doors and arms to us and is giving us an opportunity no make a new life for us amongst her inhabitants.
Maybe it rather has to be be, embracing the new and appreciate and remember the past. One doesn't need to 'let go'.
I do hope some of you expats can identify with me and I would like to hear from you how you coped with all the unfamiliar emotions you are experiencing or had experienced.
Gaby often tells me we are sojourners, only passing through. But the reality is that there are so many things and people clinging to your heart and to the soles of your feet.
'Advance Australia Fair' is the refrain at the end of each verse and it will become my heart's refrain...in time I trust...in time.
11 hours ago