Pieter de Klerk

Pieter de Klerk

Age 59
Sex male
Ethnicity Afrikaans/Dutch
Religion Protestant (Calvinist)
Level of education Ph.D
Family status (children included) unmarried
Place of birth (town, state) Zwijndrecht, Netherlands
Now living in (town, state) Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

As stated above, one's identity is complex and I am unable to define my identity in one or two sentences.

There is no specific order in which I would place these identities; in general they are equally important to me, but, as stated, in a certain situation one (or two or three) of these identities become more prominent that the others.

There are many; the place where one is born, the place and country where one grows up or lives as an adult, the identity of one's parents and other relatives, neighbours and friends, the educational institutions one attends, etc., all play a role.

This is also not a question to be answered in one or two sentences. In general I do not identify with specific images or figures. My life history, within the context of the history of the society in which I live (which is partly world society), forms part of my identity. I suppose there are connections between my identity and my musical preferences. Because of the Western (European) environment in which I was born and raised I prefer Western music, and (perhaps) because of my age I prefer classical or light classical music to music of (very) recent origin.

I already answered this in the previous question.

This, again, is a very difficult question. I think than in general one's identity in some circumstances will be an obstacle and in other circumstances can be a help. In South Africa, for instance, it was an advantage to be a person of European (white) origin in the apartheid system, while it has become, to a large extent, a disadvantage in the present political situation.

This all depends on the kind of society and environment in which one lives. In a society where everybody speaks the same language, has the same religion, etc., a person with a different language and religion will be considered an outsider and it will be impossible for such a person to be fully (or sometimes even partly) integrated in this society. In a multi-ethinic, multi-lingual, multi-religious society the situation will be very different; this to a large extent, is my situation.

I would think that a person who continues to live in the town where he or she was born and raised will have been exposed to fewer influences, and this might lead to a very limited view of the world, narrow-mindedness, etc., and that the opposite should be the case when people move outside the region where they were born and raised. In my specific case, it would be difficult to point out the consequences, because they have to be compared to the consequences if I continued to live in the town where I was born, and I do not know what these consequences would have been.

In general one feels one's identity most strongly when it is threatened, for instance, if a group or state invades one's country or region and wants to control it, when one's language is suppressed, etc. In my case political measures which have a detrimental effect on the ethnic and language group of which I form part, make me more conscious of my identity.

No. I am sorry if I did not answer the questions fully, but that would have implied the writing of a very long essay.

2005