We’re now in the Bo-Kaap, a predominantly Muslim, colored neighborhood in Cape Town. (The term “colored” here in South Africa has a totally different meaning than in the States). One thing I’ve learned about South Africans is their openness and willingness to talk about anything, even the most controversial of issues like race. The terms “black,” “white,” and “colored” are used to describe the existing racial lines between South Africans. They aren’t attached to any stigmas or connotations as the word “colored” is in the States. Colored here in South Africa refers to those who are mixed with several different races or have some Malay ancestry. Typically the skin color is like a tan as opposed to the darker and fairer skin of blacks and whites respectively.
The Bo-Kaap is an old, very close knit neighborhood that prides itself on its strong Muslim culture and uniqueness of its people. We were welcomed by some very warm host moms and a delicious lunch before settling into our new homes for the next 3 weeks. The Bo Kaap is a very colorful place. Actually, it’s a huge tourist attraction because of its brightly painted houses, which used to be painted at Eid after Ramadan as a Muslim tradition. Walking around the neighborhood, you. An feel a genuine joyful feel as neighbors greet each other on the street. My host mom is a single mother, who lives with her grandson, who is in his third year of law school. He’s a bit quiet and keeps to himself, but she loves to talk, which is always fun. I’m beginning to learn about all the different things there are to do here in Cape Town and em excited to embark on some new adventures. It seems the Bo Kaap is a great location, close to many things to do in the city. We were also close to Long Street, home to a lot of great restaurants, shops, and a rather hip nightlife. Very excited for what is in store!