Mhambi has been redeployed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

No Afrikaans - Would it be a loss to the planet?

The other day jewish South Africans on It's Almost Supernatural were in a tizz about a letter.

"The letter entitled “We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!” angers me on so many levels, but none more so than the official endorsement of the letter by the ANC."

Commentator after commentator criticised the ANC as if the end was nigh.

"The logic is quite simple. The ANC (rightly) hates supporters of South African apartheid. If they believe that Israel is an apartheid state then they will hate Israel and its supporters. So if you are a Zionist, let it be known, the ANC officially hates you and would probably prefer it if you left South Africa. If there was no affluence in the local Jewish community, I wonder whether we would still have our place in the South African sun?"

And then I replied:

'This is not logic guys. How can you infer that they would probably prefer that you all leave?

Get a sense of perspective. Jeez. Gary goes on about the murders in Israel. There's no accurate tally but it's been suggested that more than 2000 farmers have been killed in this country since 1994.

You guys are not half as threatened as Afrikaners are and your going on as if the world has ended. If I was you I'd concentrate on defending what you have already achieved - Israel - by making some justified concessions and ignore the ANC.

At the rate things are going now your going to be a minority in your own country and you'll be screwed. Get rid of the illegal settlements for your own sake.'

My point was that Afrikaners are more at peril, because it's a language based identity. The Jews have a state and besides they have a religious based identity and not a language based one. The children of Afrikaner emigrants won't speak Afrikaans.

But a certain contributer, Blacklisted dictator commentated pointedly:

""Afrikaners "have a language based identity" which would be lost by emigrating. If that is the case, it might be better to lose your culture rather than your life?...

If speaking Afrikaans is the be all and end all of your culture/existence, then you should perhaps have a re-think about the meaning of your life. However, I have a clever solution to your dilemma..learn Dutch and emigrate to Amsterdam. It is a great city. Much better than Pretoria or Stellenbosch...

If being Afrikaans is "more than a language", what else does it include?

I supposes, it is primarily direct contact with other Afrikaners in South Africa? The question still unfortunately arises whether Afrikaners have a sustainable future in South Africa. I believe that they don't. As I have previously stated all colours and all faiths should make plans to get out."

And then the coup the grace.

"Would it be a loss to me if this planet lost the Afrikaans culture?

I think that you should put this question in context. Many many cultures are being lost annually throughout the world. It is a sad fact of life."

Indeed, would it be a loss to the world? Would it be a loss to Afrikaners? Does it matter?

I decided not to answer the Blacklisted Dictator. Instead, inspired by Andries Bezuidenhout I made a little compilation of Afrikaans songs about emigration, loss, verlange and heimwee.

Andries was queried about Afrikaans by Wits Phd student Mandisa Mbali recently. Mandisa asked him why he sings in Afrikaans, a dying language? Andries replied, "We want to give it a beautiful funeral."


Afrikaner diaspora songs (best when flying or driving)

When things are going well...
Originally uploaded by j.dubb.


Rian Malan - Trekboer (About missing Africa but being scared of it)

Gert Vlok Nel - Epitaph - (About dreaming of being as far away as possible)

Koos Kombuis - Vêr Van Die Ou Kalahari (About feeling guilty about running away)

Valliant Swart - Banneling (About being an exile)

Andries Bezuidenhout - Bus na Toronto (Remembering the struggle and wars from the safety of the North)

Gert Vlok Nel - Moenie My Hier Vergeet Nie, Dixie (The angst of being left behind in a country where whitches are still burn't)

Gazelle - Die Verlore Seun (Bright lights big city - cause there's a whole world out there - Careful, includes hidden track)

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Anonymous said...

10 out of 10 for your playlist!

Gareth Thomas Searle said...

the similarities between rightwing jew and Afrikaner is striking. I use the term rightwing loosely, and generally in past and present terms
They both believe(d) that they are gods chosen people, they both quick to defend themselves of cruelty towards their neighbors by claiming they are under threat.
They both colluded during apartheid to built an atomic bomb to protect themselves.
The Jewish state makes me sick, and I can virtually guarantee that it has the same effect on 'god'

Wessel said...

There are similarities and then there are differences. For all the rhetoric Afrikaners lived among black South Africa, while my impression - I have never been there - is that arab and jewish Israel is allot more apart. (Not to mention the Palestinians and the Jews).

The jewish state, although not according arab citizens the same rights as jews, is allot more open to Arab Israelies than the apartheid state was towards black South Africans. But then jews are in the majority, i doubt they would be as open if they were a minority.

This point is amply illustrated if one considers the plight if the Palestinians. Then situation changes, and the dangers of a one state solution for the jews become apparent.

One could easily argue of course that Israel is the only (albeit) flawed democracy in that part of the world. There is no place in the middle east where you will find that level of freedom of speech, and where women and gays have rights they have. But then so was white SA a democracy.

Gareth, do you think that the jews should have their own state?

I think that after WW2 there was a moral case for them to have one.

Interestingly many jews before WW2 were not in favour of one.

And neither were they dead set on Palestine.

Hertzel one of the founders of Zionism thought that it need not be in Middle East. Apparently, Australia and Uganda was seriously considered.

Balfour, the British PM that suggested Palestine as a homeland had racist motives.

He wanted the jews out of the UK because he said they did not integrate into British society.

It was Europe who created the mess and then in an act of guilt messed it up even more, not caring what would happen to the Arab population.

Listen to this very interesting radio doc.

Gareth Thomas Searle said...

A two state solution seems to be the only plausible option. It will mean that they have to share their resources though, it will mean huge concessions from Israel. Furthermore it will take exceptional leadership from both sides to convince their people that it is a viable workable solution that will offer hope and actual peace. There will always be extremist but the aim should be to make their numbers as small as possible. Of course that means a change in direction from the white house, it means that all middle eastern players will need to be brought or bought to the table, Syria, Lebanon, and the 'evil' Iranians. I'm just about all out of hope though, the rich and powerful so seldom relinquish their positions of power for the good of the whole, furthermore the longer the animosity goes on, the harder it is to unravel into anything resembling peace and security.

Even before you consider the religious aspirations of the people living there its pretty tricky. I honestly believe this is a chief obstacle in the way of peace...i could be wrong, prehapse i'm oversimplifying it, however its difficult to see how a culture of religious intolerances, so vial it causes people to suicide bomb or join the army and kill civilians can be undone. (gross generalisations here but i needed to make that point)

Europe has an obligation to attempt to fix it, that is why they have been urging to negotiations with Hamas, they recognise the consequence of continual violence and its escalation.

haven't listened to the radio show, cant do at work...

brando! said...

enjoyed your article. did you see this crock? Afirkaans browser