Mhambi has been redeployed.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What are these rooinekke like?!

Some historians think that both black and Afrikaner nationalism in South Africa was fashioned as a reaction to English imperialism. So, what exactly is this English identity that South Africans reacted to? A new book, The English National Character is a tad academic but according to the UK Guardian, insightful:

The thesis is basically this: taking the 19th century as his starting point, he argues that conceptions of English national identity during the period were largely influenced by a fascination with England's Anglo-Saxon roots, what Mandler - echoing Matthew Arnold - calls "Teutomania". This then gave rise to the idea of the "great Briton", the John Bull stereotype, which the Boer war and then the first world war soon put paid to, John Bull diminishing in stature and size in the popular imagination to the figure of the "little man" epitomised, according to Mandler, by Sidney Strube's usefully titled cartoon "Little Man", which ran in the Daily Express between 1920 and 1947. Since the end of the second world war, the idea of a coherent national identity has collapsed.

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