Over a single weekend, we are going to keep a diary of all that happens in those two days, whether ordinary or unusual, important or insignificant.
In this journal, you will note the very tiniest details of your day: what you wear, who is doing what in the house in that hour after you awoke, and in the evening; what you watch on television or on your cellphone; the music you listen to, whether you either actively tune into it, or just hear in the background; what social media you use to connect with your friends; what you see outside of the house; what you eat and when you eat it, who you eat with, and where; whether you read anything and, if so, what it is; whether you turn on taps to drink water, or buy water in a bottle, or go to fetch water from somewhere else; what you do with that water – wash the dishes, your clothes, the car; whether you flick on a light switch, or light a lamp, or make a fire.
You will be writing, but you may also make drawings, diagrams, or take photographs, of things you see over the weekend – billboards, clothes that people are wearing at the shops, or at church. If you go to a special event like a wedding, a party, or a funeral, try to document that event too, in as much detail as you can.
Back in class, share your experiences. In small groups of four, swop diaries between you, and read each other’s.
Discuss in your own group
- What were the experiences of others in the group that seemed similar to yours? Were there experiences that all of you shared?
- What was different about your experiences? What reasons are there for the differences in your experiences? Are they due to your individual preference, or your unique circumstances? Or are they because of family traditions, religion, or gender? Or for any other reason?
- When you compare your weekend and the weekend of others in your class, are there more aspects that are similar, or more that are different?
- Would another group of young people have very different weekend diaries? What would cause these weekend diaries to be different? Where you live? Your race? Your language, your age? How much money you have?
- What aspects of your weekend do you think may be common to all South Africans?
- What (if anything) might be common to all Africans?
- What may be common to all people of your age-group all over the world?
- How has your weekend diary been an expression of a “culture”?