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The Yzerfontein Wave

Yzerfontein – where the water is cold, but the people are warm and friendly!

By Charles Duckitt


When I was asked to write something original about Yzerfontein, I sat down and wondered about a few subjects. I could discuss the lay of the land, the weather patterns and the environment, the wildlife of Yzer. But something else about Yzerfontein that is really special and gets the nod. The “Yzerfontein wave”, the passing lift of your hand, greeting one another is one of the things we Yzerfonteiner’s just do.


This got me thinking. Why do most humans raise a hand in greeting? What does this gesture mean? In Yzerfontein it is a distinct way of recognizing a week ender or holiday makers, the residents are known for their greeting. It’s a way of spreading friendship and respect. We may not know each other. As the town grows many new faces arrive and it’s not possible to keep abreast and get to know everyone, yet we greet. That wave says much more than “hi” or “hullo” it’s recognition that you share this town with me and I am glad to see you there.

That wave says much more than “hi” or “hullo” it’s recognition that you share this town with me and I am glad to see you there.

What are the origins of this behaviour?

Why especially in the city, don’t we usually greet strangers or neighbours in this way when going about our daily lives? In the city, hand gestures between people in cars often have a different, unpleasant meaning, at best equivalent to frustration.


Waving is a very primitive gesture. As a child you learn to wave a greeting to one another. As we get older we learn of the military wave or salute, a sign of respect, when speaking hand signals are as effective. The waving hand is to get somebody’s attention in the most effective and conservative way possible. Waving a hand can attract one’s attention but at the same time not overly conspicuous.


Yzerfontein is a friendly quiet town filled with friendships and caring, we see it everywhere, clean streets natural green vegetation, wild life mingles amongst houses. It’s not uncommon to see Ostrich or buck, in the streets at night you spot porcupine and lynx. Birdlife is a plenty, home to the endangered Black Oyster catcher common sightings of Pelican and flamingo and so much more.


We, the residents of Yzerfontein are fortunate to have emergency, security personnel and retailers who are passionate about their work, friendly about their daily tasks with a smile.

Much of our town’s happiness is simply due to the friendly “Yzerfontein wave”. I encourage all in Yzerfontein to greet and return the “Yzerfontein wave”.


Let us keep this tradition ALIVE!


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