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The Three Continents of My Life

Updated on October 1, 2018
DDE profile image

Devika enjoys sharing her work with a friendly community. Writing is a big part of her life. Online work has improved her lifestyle.

Life changed in three cultures

Life changed but nobody understood the views of my culture, and of my past life. After the many sacrifices made to live in a foreign country.

I realized it is most difficult to live in a foreign culture but I have coped with every challenge in the most simple of ways.

I faced up to many challenges.

I had to work out my strengths and weaknesses and grew into a stronger person at heart.

An Indian born and raised in South Africa, my ancestors arrived in South Africa over one hundred and fifty years ago.

I was born in the third generation of South African Indian society.

Currently living in the most southeastern part of Croatia, I feel this is a life of three cultures and three continents.

Indians were treated as slaves in South Africa, and settled in and around Durban. As slaves they worked in the sugar-cane fields, and were categorized by the color of their skin.

Growing up during the apartheid system was one of my toughest experiences, not knowing much of how racism affected me.

I was naive, everything about my life at that time seemed normal.

In reality it was not a normal life for most South Africans.

Classed as an ''Asian or ''Indian'' and other races were only allowed to live in their specific suburbs was not fair to any of us.

I attended the ''Indian only schools'' and living in the ''Indian only suburbs'' made my life different from others.

Public toilets were also categorized as ''Indians only''.

Indians practiced their culture in Hinduism and are some of Tamil speaking; I grew into the South African culture and found my culture in it too.

Life wasn't easy but the Indian people had to build up their lives positively.

The two different cultures in my life while in South Africa was not only meaningful but also a big part of my soul.

Apartheid in South Africa was not a great time for many people, not being able to move around without identification cards and Indians were suppressed for a long time.

Opportunities were dull for slaves, in the eyes of others slaves didn't need to go further to have a better future.

  • Racism didn't affect me as much but my parents had tasted the real life of racism.

At that time my dad worked in a ''Whites Only Pub'' he had to deal with many Afrikaans speaking people, and took the insults lightly.

The name calling was ''coolie'' for the Indians. Life for me was fine during the school and college years. I didn't pay much attention to what was going on.

An incident that got me thinking but still not much at that time, things for my dad was rough at work he was often called a ''coolie'' and one day he came home with a bruised eye, an almost severe eye injury and I remember that day like it was yesterday.

A ''White guy'' after a few drinks at the pub got out of control and hit my dad with a beer bottle it grazed his eye leaving him with a Black eye(or blue eye).

My dad had some ''White friends,'' but those with harsh comments and who behaved disrespectfully were not his friends.

It was not an open book to have other people of other race to your home it didn't work out during the apartheid system.

It was forbidden and would be breaking the laws if an Indian had ''White Man'' over to his home.

The South African culture has many nations and is supposed to be the rainbow nation unfortunately the color white is not present in the rainbow colors.

  • Barbecues are the main pass time in South Africa. In the South African culture a barbecue is called ''Braai.’’

Indians in South Africa have passed through many tough times and never gave up on making their future at best and so far have succeeded.

South Africa was the last African country to breakthrough with the apartheid era. I saw the the actual differences when much older.

In my early years racism didn't affect me.

Not fully understanding the whole situation made me blind to the color problem. Now that I am much older,

I realize how Indians were affected by such problems.

Since 1990 I noticed changes and had begun to understand the racist insults, and felt left out in many events.

Applications for jobs were turned down due to the color of my skin that made me feel more than just sad or disappointed.

Frustration built up within me but no actions were taken. I didn't take these harsh words personally.

  • The introduction of the third culture in Croatia took me by surprise.

The tradition is different from the previous two and from the African continent to the European continent with all three cultures.

To have all three continents my life has made me among the strongest and less fearful being.

The religion of Roman Catholics and so traditional, I had such difficulty from day one to live a different life.

The traditional women live their old-fashioned lives and I, the modern woman who tried to fit into this culture.

One day realized it can work out for me, but only if I made my own life, the one I know best of.

Changing a Westernized life to a not so advanced lifestyle is like oil and water in this new life.

I had passed many obstacles and chose to live my life with what I know would help me most to be happy.

The first traditional event I had learned most of is Easter in Croatia a different and one of the most religious holidays in the region, apart from Christmas.

The celebrations are extraordinary with the special way of decorating eggs. A family day spent with exciting events.

I opened my life to Three continents, and Three Cultures, of which two I have grew up with from my descendants, and the third from my marriage side of life. An incredible life from morning to night and from day to day.

Many challenges, and still I am learning more and more of the foreign language, and of my culture and of the Croatian culture.

I have coped with far too much and will keep going no matter what, life now is much easier and learning about another culture is always interesting.

  • Learning never stops!

In the process of learning something new daily I saw a difference in me and communication is key to a better social life.

Life changed for me in many ways and each day that went by I had a new challenge to face up to.

In all that time I tried to focus on my child and my new life. As time went by I realized how much freedom and my family mean to me.

The many changes from racism to living in a country which was once a communist country is a great learning experience for me.

I am now more curious of the history of Croatia a small country was once ''Old Yugoslavia'' especially, after the war with the Serbians and Croatians over twenty years ago.

Everything seems well on the surface, but deep down not many Croatians can forgive the Serbians for the way they destroyed their precious place.

The same for the Serbs. In both ways shows some friction from the war experiences.

Continents of my life


© 2013 Devika Primić


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    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Good Evening Tom Mukasa thank you for sharing your comment on The Three Continents of My Life, I am pleased to hear a new comment from a new hubber

    • Tom Mukasa profile image

      Tom Mukasa 

      5 years ago from Lives in USA

      Wow, DDE, this is a great piece of work. It brings home even harder the fact that humans around the world have so many things in common. These we need to explore and use for humanity' s good. Culture to me is like the road networks that connect different countries. The means we chose to travel is the act of sampling out ours and other cultures. We should not be scared, even though all is new to us. Deep down these are roads that are open for all. Thanks for a very informative hub.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      D.A.L. I enjoy reading your hubs and so delightful to read your comments on my hubs, thanks for the votes up have a great day.

    • D.A.L. profile image


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      DDE, I admire your wonderful outlook on life, adapting to changes and cultures while still being yourself. You are an inspiration. Love this hub voted up.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      AliciaC thanks for stopping by at my hubs The Three Continents of My Life, and A New Lifestyle in Croatia, challenges makes one stronger so coping with life becomes simpler

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I admire the way that you have dealt with challenges as you have moved from country to country, DDE. Some of the experiences that you have described are sad, but it sounds like you have handled them well.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      rajan jolly thanks for such kind comment and have a lovely weekend

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      What an experience it has been for you Devika; being exposed to 3 cultures in a lifetime is something not many get an opportunity of!

      Great write and I can see you have come out a winner on all fronts.


    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      epigramman great thoughts here from you and I enjoy reading your lovely comments, thanks very much for taking the time and stopping by, fro sharing my hub, as mentioned, you are an amazing person. Take care and have a lovely weekend.

    • epigramman profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm always interested to hear and read about your life and times ..... and one thing is for sure too - you are a lovely lady, one heck of a great writer and always an inspiration to me as I learn from you.

      Thank you for our chance to meet on Hubpages and sending good energy to you from Colin and his cats and just home after work at 5:26am

      p.s. - I am sharing and posting a link on my FB page to more readers hopefully

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      rose-the planner thanks for the votes up and so glad you commented take care and have a nice day.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      MsDora so glad you stopped by and commented on my hub, thanks verymuch have a lovely day

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing! Your experiences will serve you very well! You're an interesting mix which enables you to share with us as well as you do.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you for sharing this incredible story with us. Racism is such an awful experience that so many individuals must endure throughout the world on a daily basis. It is wonderful and admirable that you have risen above it. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      carol7777 thanks for stopping by take care

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      tobusiness thanks for your kind comment and have lovely evening

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      You certainly have had a colorful life and you tell it so well.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Devika, you are a survivor!...And you are right. Adversity makes us stronger.

      I can't begin to imagine how soul destroying life must have been for people of colour in South Africa, during the Apartheid era; however, I do know that this world can be a cruel place. So live you life, and live it well. I know you are already doing just that. Take care my friend, and my very best to you. Thank you for sharing this very touching and incredible write.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing this insight.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      DREAM ON so agree with your comment and so glad to read one from you have a lovely day,

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      5 years ago

      Your hub is so informative and helpful.I grew up not understanding so many different cultures and the troubles each face in todays world.I have been blessed living in the United States and enjoying my childhood in 70's and early 80's.Each time I read one of your stories my heart sinks to think what hardships people have suffered.How mean people can be.Thank God for the many changes that have made life better.Most of all thank you for sharing something so personal and private.Enjoy your day and may more of your dreams come true.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      billybuc thanks life for me has been a roller coaster and now somehow smoother

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a great reflection on your life, DDE! Thank you for sharing this with are a remarkable woman for rising above the racism and considering it a learning experience.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Faith Reaper Great stuff and thanks for the votes up and sharing so glad to red a comment from you

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Very interesting read of your fascinating life in such different parts of the world.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper


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