I usually hate putting people in boxes but the more South Africans I meet, the more I am sure that there are a few qualities that are commonly found in the South African culture.
South Africans are, in general, a delight to be around. This makes them great candidates for seamlessly fitting in with other cultures.
South Africa is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, and is often referred to as the “The Rainbow Nation.” As it is an extremely diverse country, its people are used to mixing with lots of different cultures. This appreciation for diversity makes them great candidates for fitting into a new culture as they are not picky about staying with ‘their own’.
What culture does not love to get together outside, drink good beer and eat some grilled food? South Africans are notorious for hosting braais on the weekends which is a good, inexpensive way to mix with people. Sure, they enjoy the odd restaurant, but they are very content with just a good old fashioned braai.
South Africans are extremely witty and playful. They can make even the most serious people laugh. Humour comes in handy when adjusting to a different culture because you might end up doing some very silly things while getting to know your new culture and a little self-deprecation and humour goes a long way to get you through. Plus, who doesn’t want to be around a person with a good sense of humour?
South Africans live by the saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” It is very rare that you will meet a South African migrant who refuses to embrace their new culture. They take a genuine interest in not only getting to know a new culture, but also becoming part of it.
South Africans are warm, welcoming and caring people. They will welcome you into their home and into their lives willingly and with a warm embrace. They will genuinely get to know you and take an interest in who you are. South Africans are known for having lifelong friendships. This quality makes it easy for them to form friendships in places where they initially don’t know anybody.
My parents joined a South African group when they moved to California from Las Vegas. Through that group they have made some amazing friends and have meaningful relationships with them. South Africans are there for each other and enjoy welcoming new South Africans into their circle.
Tip: If you are new to a country, look out for South African meetups and groups. Joining one of these will make adjusting easier for you as it’s always nice to have some familiarity in a new place.
Gratitude in my opinion is the secret to happiness. If you are grateful then you are focused on what you have instead of what you think you need. That grateful attitude that South Africans tend to have, will get them through adjusting to a new way of life. South Africans focus on the opportunities in front of them instead of what they left behind.
South Africans were raised to be respectful, productive members of society. This makes fitting into a new culture easy as they are not likely to get into workplace arguments and very unlikely to get in a brawl. They are an absolute delight to be around as long as they are shown the same respect as they show others.
South Africans will often say that they are “proudly South African.” They have such an intense pride for their home country. They have no problem sharing that pride with their new country and will bring a refreshing spirit unlike you have ever seen.
South Africans are life-loving, beer-drinking, warm group of people and if you are lucky enough to meet one, you should befriend them immediately.