Today – 90 years ago Afrikaans was recognised as an official language in South Africa.
Afrikaans is the language of my soul. It is the language I pray in, the language I love in and the language I express myself in. I know it is a bit strange that my blog is in English and I really can’t answer why I write in English and not in Afrikaans, it just happened. I think a big reason is that I work in an English environment – and have for most of my adult life and therefore I think in English at work and I write my blog during my breaks at work.
I must say that I’m really in two minds about being Afrikaans.
On the one hand I’m so extremely proud to be Afrikaans – if you look at the amount of artistic output in this country in Afrikaans – a new Afrikaans movie gets released almost each week. Afrikaans music is bigger now than ever before – OK I have to admit – some of it is horrendous but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Writers – think about Deon Meyer, Maritha van der Vyfer, Dalene Matthee.
Big music festivals in Afrikaans.
KKNK – Klein Karoo arts festival
There are more than 1 Afrikaans channel on DSTV!
And what about swearing in Afrikaans 🙂 – how exceptionally expressive
And the names for food – once again so expressive
Look at Afrikaans universities – OK maybe not so much there – the political agendas are killing it there.
Afrikaans schools – they consistently perform better on the national tests than any other mother tongue schools.
And this is whilst coping with the political agendas all around us.
And then there is the downside of Afrikaans and the part where I’m sometimes ashamed to be Afrikaans. When you open your mouth and you speak Afrikaans some people categorise you immediately as dumb, common, and a racist.
Now I have been out of the country for quite a few years and I think it has formed me as a person and therefore I think I’m more objective in terms of our country. And I can guarantee you now – that we are not any more common, dumb and racist than any other cultural group in this country.
And let’s not forget that Afrikaans is the mother tongue not only of white people, how many coloured people speak Afrikaans and let’s face the facts, they way they speak it is so much better than the way I speak it.
If you look at our census even some black people see their mother tongue as Afrikaans.
So today I want to just acknowledge the language of my dreams. I want to salute the people that uplift it and make it stronger each day. I want to praise people like Coenie de Viliers, Freek Robinson and the ultimate hero Rian Cruywagen that speak Afrikaans in the most beautiful way and express them in a way that make my heart feel lighter and happier and make me want to improve the way I speak Afrikaans.