Back to basics :)
Greetings! I am Babette Kourelos (born van der Walt). Like most South Africans, I have a mixed heritage (Afrikaans, Greek and Italian). With my 30th Birthday looming (24 March to be axact), I often find myself reflecting on and mulling over the idea of heritage, tradition, community and where/how we all fit into this fast-paced plastic puzzle that is modern life. What keeps us centred and connected in a world that has no time or patience for religion and where work committments take precedence over family time and personal connection?
How did we ever accept the idea that "busy" is a legitimate excuse to buy ready-made meals instead of preparing a home-cooked meal from scratch? Home and family lives are crumbling under the financial pressure of both parents having to work in order to maintain at least a decent standard of living. Our children are being raised by strangers and electronic devices and our food is produced in unknown factories, made from unknown ingredients. Divorce rates are soaring and depression is at an all-time high.
Not so long ago, our great-grandparents still knew how to live. How to cook. How to be a family. Our great-grandmothers created homes which were filled with love, good food and human connection. Where fresh bread and vegetables from the garden were the norm and not a novelty to be documented and posted on social media. When women left their homes to assert their rights and compete with men in the corporate world, we lost a fundamental aspect of our existence and upbringing. Who is nurturing our young? Who is there to set an example? Who is taking care to create a home that is inviting, warm and reassuring? Who is making sure that a healthy, freshly prepared meal is on the table? We have lost our wives, our mothers and our homes to a cruel, unhealthy and artificial world.
And yet, all is not lost. There is a growing interest in the things of old. People are yearning for real experiences and real food. We long for real connection, love and friendship. We want to make and eat real food. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are overflowing with posts and photos on how to make "traditional", "artisan" and "real food". Knitting, wood-work and other crafts are slowly returning to our homes and habits. Cooking and baking classes are popular amongst growing numbers of men and women. Community knitting groups are popping up in unlikely places.
So as I enter my 30's, I am excited and energised by the fact that we are slowly finding our way home.
That we are slowly getting back to the basics...