Reshaping Remembrance ~ Thandi, Katrina, Meisie, Maria, ou-Johanna, Christina, ou-Lina, Jane And Cecilia

Dit was dus ons gesin; maar daar was ook nog ou Dulsie, van wie ek amper vergeet het, soos mens maar geneig is om van die bediendes te vergeet, alhoewel sy by ons was so lank soos wat ek kan onthou. […] daardie gedurige aanwesigheid waaraan ek skaars nog name of gesigte kan koppel. Dulsie in die huis […] so onthou ek my kinderjare.

[That was our family; but then there was also old Dulcie, whom I almost forgot to mention, as people tend to do with servants, although she was with us for as long as I can remember. […] that pervasive presence to which I can hardly put a name or a face. Dulcie in the house […] that is how I remember my childhood years.][i]

1.
Many women’s names were never used in the contact zones of South African kitchens. Together with their small caps and aprons, black women working in white South African households were often given new names that were easier for white people to pronounce than, for example, Noluvyo, Nokubonga or Nomahobe. These ama-Xhosa names mean Joy, Thank you God and Dove. Sometimes black parents took the initiative and named their children Beauty, Patience or Perseverance, in the hope that their daughters would meet with success in the white working environment. Sometimes employers themselves gave ‘well-known’ names to their servants, and I suspect that most of the names in the title of this chapter belonged to this category. All of these women, from Thandi to Cecilia Magadlela are women who have been important in my life for no other reason than that I was fortunate enough to belong to the class which employed these women as servants.

As Richard Elphick writes in Kraal and castle: Khoikoi and the founding of white South Africa,[ii] it was customary, right from the start, for young indigenous women to be trained to work as serving maids in white households at the Dutch settlement of the Cape. Once slavery began, they were increasingly replaced by women from East India who had greater culinary and household skills. The real name of one of the first South African women to work in a white household in the Cape was Krotoa (approximately 1642-1674). This Khoi-woman of the Goringhaiqua group was called Eva by Jan van Riebeeck and his wife. Thanks to the novels of Dalene Matthee and Dan Sleigh, among others, many post-apartheid South Africans know that, aside from being a maid servant, she was also Van Riebeeck’s most important interpreter who, through her marriage to a Danish ship’s doctor, also became the ancestor of quite a number of white families. No one could have anticipated that, three hundred and fifty years later, a maid bearing the same name would become a much loved cartoon character. However, this Eve would no longer be referred to as a childminder or ‘maid’, but as a ‘domestic maintenance assistant’ and would be given a ‘western’ first name – probably because of its combination with Madam, a play on Adam – but also a surname: Sisulu. In most of these sharp, witty Madam & Eve cartoons, she has the last word. All the characters in this cartoon have become icons in a changing South Africa where, although equality is still a distant dream, the way Eve triumphs is transformative despite the stereotypical roles that are played out. Read more

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Reshaping Remembrance ~ Rugby

1.
Only very few Afrikaner males have not been confronted with rugby at school, in some way or another. Interest in this sport is often carried over from father to son and it is particularly in this intimate process of transfer that commonalities are shared and that the game acquires one of its remembrance characteristics. This, however, is only one aspect of a much more dynamic and broader process that some commentators describe with a degree of irony as an elevated transcendental experience. Johann Symington, director of communication in the Dutch Reformed Church, describes rugby as far more than merely a national sport:
It is rather more like a religion with its own pantheon of gods and sacred traditions. It is true that players do not kneel or pray in the passageways of the stadiums, but the absolute dedication to the game and the team, the symbolic changing of clothing and the face painted to look like totem figures reveals something of the immanent religious status of the sport.[i]

In an extreme identification in 1970, Gert Yssel, a teacher and lay preacher in the then Western Transvaal, made the bizarre statement that God made the Springboks lose a test because young women in South Africa, according to him, wore indecent mini-dresses.[ii] Yssel’s logic with regard to cause and effect may have been suspect, but there can be no doubt about the central place that rugby occupied in his world as well as in his philosophy of life.

In the greater Afrikaner circles, the genealogy of the game goes beyond one or two generations and has a bearing on the identification of particular historical emotional values. At the time of the 75th anniversary of the South African Rugby Board, the renowned rugby administrator Danie Craven revealed something of the depth and intensity of the game’s remembrance matter in his official message. It was a ‘festive occasion’ of the game that ‘belonged to everyone’ and although there had been troubled times through the years, these had only strengthened rugby supporters so that they could enjoy the good times together. It had ‘bound them together historically’ as nothing else had ever done, and had created a feeling of ‘belonging’ that few people had the good fortune to enjoy.[iii]

To understand the remembrance dimensions of this sport, one needs to take note of the way in which rugby became popular with Afrikaners. The role of the University of Stellenbosch is in this regard one of the keys to understanding the connection. Since the late nineteenth century generations of young Afrikaner males turned to the ‘people’s university’ and it was within the context of the ‘people’ that the sons of the elite could revel in the game. When a number of young men in a state of hormonal aggression gathered within a demarcated space, the ideal breeding ground was created for a game such as rugby. But the game also formed part of the broader Afrikaner culture. Read more

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Reshaping Remembrance ~ The Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal

1.
For the average language user, a dictionary is something that you do not argue with, that you rely on with varying levels of success to regain lost knowledge, for help with crossword puzzles and that you sometimes, very successfully, use to press flowers or as a doorstop. But despite the nature of the use of a dictionary – whether it is in fulfilling its genuine purpose or not – the typical user sees the dictionary as an authoritative container of grammatical and other information that provides the holy truth. That’s why in spoken language people do not refer to ‘a dictionary’ but to ‘the dictionary’ – almost like The Bible. Not everybody is aware of the existence of a variety of dictionary types, each having to comply with its own typological criteria and help a specific target user group in a particular way to meet their specific needs in accordance with their research skills. One particular dictionary can’t be everything for everybody – that is something that dictionary users often have to be reminded of. The fact that each specific dictionary has a distinct role in the recording and reproduction of language is also seldom emphasised. Moreover, the fact that between the wealth of dictionaries there is one which can be seen as the crown jewel of the dictionary family is also not always recognised. This jewel is the comprehensive explanatory dictionary, and in Afrikaans this typological place is occupied by the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language), commonly known as the WAT.

The WAT as comprehensive dictionary is a source of information – as supplement, as affirmation and often also as reminder. But as Afrikaans source of reminding it is not only the content of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal that is relevant, but the history of this dictionary as well that calls one’s attention to numerous places of remembrance. As far as the content of the WAT is concerned, one must take note of the fact that a comprehensive dictionary typically consists of multiple volumes compiled over decades – for example, it took 148 years to complete the comprehensive Het Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal (The Dictionary of the Dutch Language). The comprehensiveness of such a dictionary lies in its choice of items included for treatment, in the variety of data types that are treated in the dictionary as well as the nature and the extent of their treatment. The comprehensiveness with regard to the choice of words brings about the fact that such a dictionary includes a lot of words and phrases for treatment and in that way makes the user aware of various old and lesserknown language forms. The dictionary becomes a recollection of bygone and less ordinary language use; this is what the WAT is par excellence. In his reaction to a very negative discussion of his Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of 1961 in Life magazine, a discussion which, like many others, condemned this dictionary for not being prescriptive enough, the American lexicographer Philip Gove said the following:
The responsibility of a dictionary is to record language, not set its style. For us to attempt to prescribe language would be like Life reporting the news as its editors would prefer it to happen.
Read more

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Colonial Film Database ~ Moving Images of the British Empire

Welcome to Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire. This website holds detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies. Over 150 films are available for viewing online. You can search or browse for films by country, date, topic, or keyword. Over 350 of the most important films in the catalogue are presented with extensive critical notes written by our academic research team.

The Colonial Film project united universities (Birkbeck and University College London) and archives (British Film Institute, Imperial War Museum and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum) to create a new catalogue of films relating to the British Empire. The ambition of this website is to allow both colonizers and colonized to understand better the truths of Empire.

Take a look: http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/home

 

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Omrop Fryslân ~ Niet geknecht ~ It ferhaal fan it Friesch Dagblad yn de Twadde Wrâldoarloch

Wat soesto as nijsmedium dwaan yn tiden fan oarloch? Hoe hâldst dy steande en hoe fier giest mei yn wat de besetter wol, sûnder datst dyn prinsipen los litst? It is wêr’t it Friesch Dagblad yn de Twadde Wrâldoarloch mei wraksele, lykas alle kranten yn Nederlân yn dy tiid. As iennige deiblêd hie it Friesch Dagblad de moed om de krante stop te setten yn 1941.

Ien fan de ferslachjouwers en plakferfangend haadredakteur by it Friesch Dagblad út dy tiid, Jan de Haan, hat as in deiboekferslach de ûntwikkelingen stap foar stap beskreaun. Hoe’t de krante hieltyd mear ûnder druk fan de Dútsers setten wurdt en hoe’t de meiwurkers dêr nachts wekker fan lizze. De dilemma’s dêr’t se mei te krijen hawwe en hoe’t dêr oer diskusjearre wurdt. Hoe’t der drige wurdt mei in ferbod op it útbringen fan de krante en it gefaar dat se op in stuit rinne om arrestearre te wurden. En dan hoe’t de krante him ‘niet geknecht’ wurde lit en de ear oan himsels hâldt troch de krante stop te setten.

De oantekeningen waarden nei de oarloch oardene en as brosjuere útbrocht: ‘Niet geknecht’. It Friesch Dagblad en Omrop Fryslân hawwe yn oparbeidzjen mei-inoar in film makke fan it ferhaal. De taal en wurden dy’t De Haan brûkt hat yn syn ferhaal, binne tekenjend foar de tiid en it grifformearde karakter fan it Friesch Dagblad fan doe, en hawwe liedend west foar it meitsjen fan de film. De orizjinele tekst is ynsprutsen troch Thijs Feenstra, dy’t we noch kenne as feedokter yn Baas Boppe Baas. De sênen binne tekene troch yllustrator Laurens Bontes fan Ljouwert. Dêrneist is der in nije útjefte makke fan de brosjuere, mei tekeningen út de film en in neiwurd fan Lútsen Kooistra, útsprutsen op syn ôfskied as haadredakteur fan it Friesch Dagblad op freed 21 april.

Sjoch: http://www.omropfryslan.nl/programma/niet-geknecht
Sjoch ek: http://interviewsdehaan.blogspot.nl/2015/04/niet-geknecht-van-jan-de-haan.html

Het verhaal van het Friesch Dagblad in de Tweede Wereldoorlog

Wat zou jij als nieuwsmedium doen in tijden van oorlog? Hoe houd je je staande en hoe ver ga je mee in wat de bezetter wil, zonder dat je je principes loslaat? Daarmee worstelde het Friesch Dagblad in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, net als alle kranten in Nederland in die tijd. Als enige dagblad had het Friesch Dagblad de moed om de krant stop te zetten in 1941. Omrop Fryslân maakte een film bij het verhaal, die zaterdag 22 april is uitgezonden.

Een van de verslaggevers en plaatsvervangend hoofdredacteur van het Friesch Dagblad uit die tijd, Jan de Haan, heeft als een dagboekverslag de ontwikkelingen stap voor stap beschreven. Hoe de krant steeds meer onder druk van de Duitsers wordt gezet en hoe de medewerkers daar ’s nachts wakker van liggen. De dilemma’s waar ze mee te maken hebben en hoe daar over gediscussieerd wordt. Hoe er gedreigd wordt met een verbod op het uitbrengen van de krant en het gevaar dat ze op een gegeven moment lopen om gearresteerd te worden. En dan hoe de krant zich ‘niet geknecht’ laat worden en de eer aan zichzelf houdt door de krant stop te zetten.

De aantekeningen werden na de oorlog geordend en als brochure uitgegeven: ‘Niet geknecht’. Het Friesch Dagblad en Omrop Fryslân hebben samen een film gemaakt van het verhaal. De taal en woorden die De Haan gebruikt heeft in zijn verhaal, zijn tekenend voor de tijd en het gereformeerde karakter van het Friesch Dagblad van toen, en zijn leidend geweest voor het maken van de film. De originele tekst is ingesproken door Thijs Feenstra, die we nog kennen als veearts in Baas Boppe Baas. De scènes zijn getekend door illustrator Laurens Bontes uit Leeuwarden. Tevens is er een heruitgave gemaakt van de brochure, met tekeningen uit de film en een nawoord van Lútsen Kooistra, dat ook wordt uitgesproken tijdens zijn afscheid als hoofdredacteur van het Friesch Dagblad op vrijdag 21 april.

http://www.omropfryslan.nl/persbericht/niet-geknecht

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The Vrije Universiteit And South Africa, From 1880 To The Present And Towards The Future: Images, Practice And Policies ~ Contents

SAVUSA POEM Proceedings, Volume 1 – Rozenberg Publishers 2005 – ISBN 90 5170 587 5 – Soon complete online

Contents

Part I: – The history of the relationship between the Vrije Universiteit and South Africa
* Introduction – Gerrit Schutte & Harry Wels
* The Vrije Universiteit & South Africa: 125 years of sentiments and good faith – Gerrit Schutte
* The Vrije Universiteit and South Africa since 1972: Political and organisational developments – Harry Brinkman
* Can ‘new’ meet ‘old’? VU-South Africa, 1976-present: Development cooperation in Southern Africa – Kees van Dongen & Leo de Feiter

Part II: A ‘new’ science for a ‘new’ South Africa: four current academic projects
* A ‘new’ history for a ‘new’ South Africa – Gerrit Schutte
* ANNA and a ‘new’ lexicography for South Africa – Willy Martin
* A ‘new’ literature – Ena Jansen
* A new size of theology for a new South Africa – Bram van de Beek

Part III: A ‘new’ science for a ‘new’ South Africa: Reflections
* South Africa-VU: The meaning of traditions for future VU-policy in South Africa? – Carools Reineke
* Some trends in South African academic history: Changing contexts and challenges – Albert Grundlingh
* Political studies in South Africa. A personal perspective – Tom Lodge
* Stimulating research futures – Tessa Marcus
* International R&D cooperation with South Africa – Selected policy perspectives – Hendrik C. Marais’
* ‘New’ scientific practice in South Africa with special reference to land reform – Flip Smit
* The changing Higher Education landscape in South Africa – Daniel Ncayiyana
* Good neighbours and far friends; The Netherlands, Europe and South Africa – Peter Nijkamp

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