ues: Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone?
Answer: The ceremonies took place in the sandstone amphitheater formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The Supreme Court of India, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan are some of the public buildings in India made of sandstone.
ues: Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?
Answer: 10 May is an 'autumn day' in South Africa since this day was the largest meeting of international leaders on South African soil to establish the first democratic, non-racial government in South Africa.
Ques: At the beginning of his speech, Mandela mentions “an extraordinary human disaster”. What does he mean by this? What is the “glorious … human achievement” he speaks of at the end?
Answer: The 'extraordinary human tragedy' described by Mandela at the beginning of his speech refers to the cruel practice of apartheid, i.e. the racial injustice endured in South Africa by the blacks at the hands of the whites. In the end, the 'glorious human achievement' he spoke of refers to the development of the first democratic, non-racial government in South Africa.
Ques: What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?
Answer: Mandela felt fortunate to be the host of the International nations since just a while ago South Africans were considered outlaws. Therefore, he thanked all the world leaders for witnessing his abdication as President as this occurrence could be considered a shared victory for justice, peace and human dignity.
Ques: What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa?
Answer: Mandela had high expectations for South Africa's future. He vowed to rid all South Africans of the enduring slavery of poverty, deprivation, misery, gender and other discrimination. He also underlined that South Africa's magnificent land should never again suffer racial discrimination.
Ques: What do the military generals do? How has their attitude changed, and why?
Answer: South African defense force and police's top military generals saluted Mandela and swore their loyalty. When the military officers welcomed Mandela, he wasn't oblivious that a few years ago they wouldn't have saluted him but arrested him.
Ques: Why were two national anthems sung?
Answer: Two national anthems were sung on the day of the inauguration, one by the whites and another by the blacks. This symbolized blacks and whites becoming equal.
Ques: How does Mandela describe the systems of government in his country (i) in the first decade, and (ii) in the final decade, of the twentieth century?
Answer: i) In the first decade of the twentieth century, the white-skinned peoples of South Africa patched up their differences and developed a regime of ethnic dominance against the dark-skinned inhabitants of their own territory, thus providing the basis for one of the harshest and most inhumane societies ever known to the world.
ii) The previous regime had been permanently overthrown in the last decade of the twentieth century and replaced by one that acknowledged the rights and freedoms of all races, regardless of the color of their skin.
Ques: What does courage mean to Mandela?
Answer: Mandela discovered that bravery was not the absence of terror, but the victory over it, when she saw people stand up to attacks and torture without cracking and thereby displaying strength and endurance that defied the imagination.
Ques: Which does he think is natural, to love or to hate?
Answer: For Mandela, love comes more naturally to the human heart than hate.
Ques: Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify the triumph of?
Answer: South Africa was in the grips of apartheid until Nelson Mandela became the President, and was then branded an outlaw by other nations. When Mandela became President, apartheid was abolished and diplomatic relations with several countries were restored.
Ques: What does Mandela mean when he says he is “simply the sum of all those African patriots” who had gone before him?
Answer: As Mandela says he was 'simply the sum of all African patriots,' he means he can connect with the unparalleled sacrifices of all those noble and brave men who have fought for African people's collective liberty. He was pained not being able to thank them, and not being able to see what their efforts had done.
Ques: How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience?
Answer: As a child, Mandela didn't hunger for liberty because he thought he was born free. He believed he was free in any way, as long as he obeyed his father and abided by his tribe's customs As an adolescent he had certain needs and as a young man, he had other needs. Gradually he discovered during his boyhood that he was selfish. He gradually understands that it is not just his freedom that is being curtailed, but the emancipation of all blacks.
Ques: How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?
Answer: In his youth, Mandela realized that it was not only his independence that was being curtailed but the emancipation of all blacks. The desire for his own liberty was a desire for his people's rights.
Ques: What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?
Answer: Mandela mentions that every man has twin obligations. The first is to his family, parents, wife, and children; the second obligation is to his people, his community and his country.
Ques: What did being free mean to Mandela as a boy, and as a student? How does he contrast these “transitory freedoms” with “the basic and honorable freedoms”?
Answer: As a boy, Mandela wasn't hungry to be free, because he felt he was born free. As long as he obeyed his father, and kept up with his tribe's traditions, he was safe in every way he knew. As a kid, he only wanted those "transitory freedoms" for himself, such as being able to stay out at night, reading what he liked, and going to where he wished. He then speaks about certain "simple honorable freedoms" such as recognizing his ability to earn his living, marry and have a child. He compares these two freedoms by saying that he was limited to the transitory freedoms he desired, while the noble freedoms had to do more with the role of his citizens in society.
Ques: Does Mandela think the oppressor is free? Why/Why not?
Answer: Mandela does not feel the oppressor is free because he thinks an oppressor is a prisoner of hate, trapped behind bars of oppression and narrowness. He thinks they are deprived of their dignity by both the oppressor and the oppressed.