Friday, February 13, 2015

Funny in Any Language

I recently watched two YouTube videos that made me laugh. Both made me laugh. One made me laugh with nostalgia and made me miss Australia. And the other made me laugh because I am finally beginning to sympathise with something of the South African mindset.

The first video is from an Australian webseries called, 'The Katering Show'. I found it utterly hilarious and at the same time it made me quite homesick. The direct, harsh and cutting humour is something that just doesn't happen here in South Africa. The Australian teasing, merciless teasing, just doesn't translate very well in other cultures. We make fun because we love the other person. I miss the camaraderie that engenders this kind of humour.

The second video is from a well-known and loved South African comedian. When we first arrived, almost four years ago, I tried to watch some South African comedians but didn't understand a single thing - not their language or what or earth they found was funny. But now I'm starting to see, understand and appreciate South Africa's particular brand of humour. I think people laugh together at something when they have experienced it themselves and comedians capitalise on those shared experiences. Appreciating humour in other cultures seems to happen only when you have lived long enough in another culture to see things through someone else's eyes. It's not about an Australian laughing at South Africans but South Africans laughing at themselves.