Food Glorious Food

 

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‘Food glorious food’ ….  goes the song from Oliver Twist, the musical film about an orphan boy who meets up with a scoundrel and ends up living  in a house for boys, and thieving for their master.   In one scene this young boy has the audacity to say  “Please sir, can I have some more ?”  –  the cry of hunger down the ages.
Based on a work by Charles Dickens, it is set in London, in times of dire poverty.   Its one of those musicals that seems to live on forever in the memory.

The song makes the point of how important food is to us.    If there is such a thing as an ultimate human experience, it is the taste of glorious food.   Apart from the fact that it gives us a feeling of well- being, nourishes our bodies, it fills our souls with satisfaction.    Food is essential for us to survive, on more than one level.

While most of us eat to live, there are some that live to eat.    Have you noticed the bombardment of foodie type TV programmes.    Everyone seems to have become a cook !
Someone once asked ‘where have all the cowboys gone?’  Men use to be about the business of plowing planting constructing and mining – earning a living by the sweat of their brow – now they all seem to be in the kitchen – cooking !
Of course food is big business – big business.   Perhaps because it tantalises our taste buds, stirs our appetites, that scream for instant satisfaction.   It is psychologically and sublimely used in advertisements to get us to buy buy buy!   And we do !

The burger seemingly has become the ‘king of foods’.   We watch some of the TV programmes, and I am amazed at the length they go to to make the best burger ever.
Smoking, slow cooking meat, spiced to the hilt, sauced up and piled up with pickles and garnishes.   Some are spectacular and no doubt delicious indeed.   But the extravagance of some borders on sheer gluttony.    The world seems to have gone crazy about extravagant food.   And I wonder if we haven’t lost something in our ‘elevated status’ of living.

maneating burger

None the less good food is a delight, and healthy food is a blessing.

vegetables-colorful

Although most seem to be on the ‘food glorious food bandwagon’  it ought to be coupled with a balance and a consideration for those who do not have enough food to eat.
More can and should be done by those who can, to give food to those who go without.  We shouldn’t be so self absorbed, as to blight out the world’s hunger problem.

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945    At the 20th session of the FAO Conference, the idea was suggested of celebrating World Food Day worldwide.    It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.
Ref : Wikipedia.org/wiki/world food day

On another site, I read
The focus of the day is that food is a basic human right.  Yet in a worldwide of billions, over 820 million people worldwide suffer chronic undernourishment,  60% women and almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition related courses every day.
It is also important to note that while millions go hungry 672 million people suffer from obesity and a further 1.3 billion are overweight.
Ref : greening the blue.org/event/world-food day.

Statistics are fine, and give a glimmer of the problem of world hunger, but stats distance themselves from the real reality of hunger.
The explosion of Urban populations, because of unemployment, poor governance, migrations and such like, have brought the problem of hunger closer to the cities, closer to us, more than stats could do.      Social and rural development need urgent attention.

When unemployment hits home, perhaps more will be done in this area.
Recently, here was talk of the Banks going on strike !   The Banks striking – unheard of before !  All because of the digital technology age, that is threatening massive unemployment.  The closing of some mines, means thousands of breadwinners will be out of work.  One man interviewed said he was responsible for 16 mouths to feed in his camp.
When there is no work, there is no pay, people go hungry, and so crime will increase.
It seems an overwhelming vicious circle, that needs intervention.

One such intervention could be Governments introducing, insisting and assisting  in implementing community and home food gardens.   Active citizen participation.

The growing of healthy food.

City Food gardens

 

School gardens

 

community garden
These reminders from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations are all good and well, and bring attention to global problems, that seem to be on the increase.   But we are part of this world, even at the local level, and should keep an eye open for those who are hungry and in need.

 

cup cakes at OB

Psalm 34:8 says   Taste and see that the Lord is good.

If there is one way to know the goodness of God it is through the food we put into our mouths.   Food glorious food, it touches our souls and our senses, taste smell and is a delight to our eyes, for we instinctively know something good is coming.
So when we occasionally indulge ourselves in food glorious food, remember too,  those who are hungry,  and do a kind deed in multiply ways to ease their plight.

The next time we sit down to a hearty healthy meal,  let’s remember those who are in poverty and often go to bed hungry.   It will remind us to acknowledge and be thankful to God for His goodness to us, and to say a  little prayer   …. “For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful”.

Words to Durban

Hello Durban,

Sometimes it takes words of affirmation to create an atmosphere for going from good to great.  You may be the Cinderella of all the cities in South Africa, but you have the power of attraction for those who need time off from the merry-go-round of life.
But you are more than that.   You are a kaleidoscope of hope, of contrasts and diversity, set in a paradise of green.

Durban you are a port on the East Coast of Africa.

Durban Port
Ships from afar, carriers of merchandise, wait their turn to enter your port, to foster the economy of the South.  And hope does not go unnoticed as the number of these ships have increased dramatically over the years – reminding us that indeed you are
‘a market place for nations’.

Container ship

A  city of lay-back laziness that can trap the diligent and industrious person with a lethargy brought on by the gentle tropical climes of a warm ocean current.   “Tomorrow is another day” well may be the creed you live by – and yet !  The steady onward everyday flow of the inevitable, continues to urge you to perform your duties with diligence.  Your  history is rich, your position is well place for the growth of a new emerging world on the African continent.
Your Oil Refineries are strategic,  as are your marketable industries on the south side of your city.    The southbound road takes your travellers back on a memory road, to old favourite holiday resorts, that have filled up many family  photo albums with sweet memories of lazy sun-filled bucket and spade holidays.

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Quite uniquely, in the heart of your city, are the Durban Botanical Gardens.   Noticed, apart from its magnificence,  is the peace that lingers there.  Now if ever the Good Lord would want a cathedral to live in, it would surely be in this majestic cathedral of green  –  a garden with its huge trees that were planted some 300 years ago.  It is one of Africa’s oldest botanical gardens, and I suspect by far the best on the continent.

Your inner city now scarcely reflects the former heyday of your holidaymakers’ favourite destination.  It has become crowded and derelict, as most inner cities are, with the influx of those desperate for employment and cheap accommodation.   Yet, two or three blocks up, on your sea-side,  are found well-kept paved promenades.  Walkways with tall hotels, all with sea-views, that tell a different story of who you were, and now want to become.

A city caught with one foot in a developed world, the other foot still entangled in poverty.   And indeed is this not the state of any modern city in the world of today ?   A world on a runaway train toward globalisation no matter the cost – for there is always a cost, there is always a price to pay for progress and development !

colonial house
Now going northward  – the touch of your colonial history is still markedly seen in your suburban landscape of the yesterday-wealth. Grand homes in beautiful tree-lined streets with lush green gardens, steeped in your recent history of refined living. Planted and painted into a part of the master portrait of South Africa’s history of diversity. Durban you are a world showcase for diversity.

But time moves on.
And a new era, for some, has arrived.   A time of unprecedented sophisticated living, as seen in the great shopping mall of Gateway Theatre of Shopping, some say the largest in the southern hemisphere, and the brand new developments of the Pearl towers for renowned accommodation.

The Pearls

Umhlanga Rocks reveals your ability to transform yourself, yet again, into an    international  tourist destination with its new modern high-rise Pearl towers and hotels, –  contrasted by the ever loved ‘little village’ where  the locals still meet and converse over a pint of brew.

Light house

Walebone Pier

A promenade of note with its iconic Whalebones Pier that enables one to walk on water!    The recognised landmark of  Umhlanga Rocks, the red and white light-house, a beacon of light,  near the world-famous Oyster Box Hotel.  No expense is spared, nothing but the best is offered to presidents and kings, and the visitors of Europe and the Elsewheres of the world.

Still northward bound on route to the new King Shaka International Airport., the outskirts of the city give a show of brilliant green that is seen in the waving sugar cane fields, and the rolling hills that call out ‘ go the distance !’
sugar cane

Beautiful are the green hills of Kwa Zulu Natal – the green Province with its emerald-green beauty and  flowing hills, a setting fit for prosperity – equally so for the penny and for the soul.

Green Emerald

Going further north through the sugar cane fields,  the main road will bring us to the mushrooming town of Ballito Bay, one of South Africa’s fastest growing modern real estate developments.

But if we are astute we will notice the road signs that take us off the main highway to settlements and townships that do not enjoy an acclaim to wealth.

Kids at Shacks

And if we travel far enough we may encounter the rural folk of another world.  A folk that have not yet made the leap from poverty to ‘progress’ –  but have so much to offer with their rich cultural heritage.

Rural Hills
The very wide gap from the arrogant and unsaturated rich in their affluent towers and malls to the simplistic living of the rural inhabitants is a screaming silent reality.                                                                                         Rural KZN Acat.jpg

Acat veggie growing

Inequality is a stamp on all our record sheets.
And it is in this ever-widening gap that a paradigm shift  needs to occur, a miracle needs to happen, so that you can go from good to great.   Pay attention also to the needs of the poorest of the poor, so that they can rise up and experience a kind of progress too.

 Herein lies your miracle,  bridging the gap between two worlds,  if not three,  – the haves, the have-nots, and the have-yachts !

Sailing-Yacht

Nevertheless all worlds can offer their own version and contribution toward  ‘being rich’  –  whatever that may mean,  each in their own way.  For sometimes the rich are not rich, and the poor are not poor.  Sometimes the ‘developed world’  has much to learn about being  “civilised”,  the knowing of   ‘Ubuntu’  –  respect – simple courtesy, simple humanity !   Someone once said, ‘ courtesy is the first rung on the ladder toward civilisation ‘  – something the 4×4  riders, taxi drivers and road-ragers need to know and understand !

As a City you have kept up with your own transformation – indeed you have to do so, for your saving grace is in the lucrative revenue that lies in the holiday and tourist trade,  robust business and employment, and of course the fine revenues from the Ports and Customs.

But most noteworthy of all are your peoples – a vast array of cultures  within your social perimeters,  which is  the very fabric of your rich design,  all gems in the crown of your disposition.
Zulu culture

The Zulu people, with their ancestral and stout warrior history with colourful beads that tell their stories;

Talana-Festival-Dundee-Zululand-KZN-5

The rowdy yet gentle influence of the British, intertwined into your history.

Indian sari

 

 

Bunny chow

 

 

 

 

 

The colourful vibrancy of the Indian culture, with their special cuisine of aromatic spices, curries and  of course the famous Durban Bunny Chow.

KZN politics

The African People with their new-found vehement political clamour, coming to terms with power, and what that truly means, moulding the nation for tomorrow.

Indeed a beautiful mosaic of cultures, living side by side by the sea, in peace and harmony.    Amazing microscopic worlds within a world, called Durban.

SA's sports people.jpg

Your people and your children are easy, fun-loving, and sunshine kids – and daring too.  Totally Sports obsessed, with any reason to walk, run, ride, swim, surf or canoe an epic event –  a case in point the Comrades Marathon.  A marathon of well over 90 kilometres between  Durban and the hilly countryside of Pietermaritzburg.  Who thinks out such things !!?

SkyCar_2
Sky Car at the Moses Mabhida 
Moses Madheba Stadium
Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Stadium

Great are your vistas for sports, but more so are your spectacular views of land and seascapes that lend wings to those who need to be lifted higher.

Durban, you are like a brilliant green emerald gem,  emeraldan often overlooked gem, among the chief cities of South Africa.   Slowly going about your daily business of business, culture and sport, with the determined purpose of welcoming your visitors from afar with warmth and hospitality.  Hospitality that inborn trait you carry off so well.

No better place to see, no better place to be other than in  “Durbs by the Sea”  as our upcountry  folk would say, when they pack for their annual holiday to crowd out your beaches with abandoned glee.

Durban visitors

 

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Durban, as the sunshine state of South Africa, you should surely be on the ‘must see list’ of the global community.  You may take your place with pride, among the ranks of other destinations who strive for the recognition of  ‘most beautiful place in the world ‘  – nonetheless contrasted by ‘new worlds’ waiting to be born into prosperity.

When your visitors step into this green paradise, they will surely hear the wind and the waves softly whisper :  “You are welcome here”.

Go Durban !green-emeralds stones