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December 16 Gathering at the Voortrekker Monument.

December 16 Gathering at the Voortrekker Monument.

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Published by Ronp5

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Published by: Ronp5 on Feb 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hit Piece on Dec 16 Gathering at the Voortrekker Monument. The New York Times published a predictable hit piece articlethis past December pertaining to the fact that manyVoortrekker descendents still gather at the VoortrekkerMonument on December 16 each year to commemorate thevow their ancestors made with God for protection at a timewhen a war campaign under Dingaan's Zulu army wasattempting to eradicate the entire Boer population campedout in Natal after the Boers had thought they obtained legalpermission to settle the region. The Times attempts to injectracism into the gathering & even the actual past event itself while neglecting to truly note the true significance of thedate which is grounded in thanksgiving within a religiouscontext. Few would begrudge those Texans whocommemorate the Battle of the Alamo therefore it is rankhypocrisy that anyone would begrudge the Boers forcommemorating a similar battle of defense from anattacking military-oriented contingent. There were a number of erroneous points made within thearticle as well. The worst being the erroneous assertion thatthe battle was over conquest when it was simply a battle of defensive survival against rather overwhelming odds againstthe Boers. Hence the reason why many Boers continue tocommemorate this date as it is simply a mater of thanksgiving to them for being spared the certain death thatappeared imminent at the outset of the first Zulu attacksagainst the Boer civilians at Saailaager & Bloukrans. The rayof sunlight shining on the cenotaph is supposed to symbolizethe vow that was taken to God for protection not about some
supposed "will that the land be theirs." [ which land? theNatalia Republic which was founded on the vacant landDingaan initially promised to the Boers (among others) wasultimately abandoned after the British conquered it ] This isclassic hit piece distortion. The Boers are not just "the descendants of white settlers" asthey are in fact the descendants of refugees who wereseeking refuge in Holland long before being sent to the Capeas servants for the Dutch East India Co. This article attemptsto blame the Boers for the development of their ownexistence & to marginalize their birth in Africa by assertingthat they are just descended from a bunch of generic Whitesettlers & purposely omitting their semi nomadic origins onthe Cape frontier. Afrikaans author Brian Du Toit notes that: [ The Boers had a tradition of trekking. Boer society was bornon the frontiers of white settlement and on the outskirts of civilization. ] This fact moves them out of the realm of generic "settlers" into the realm of a homegrown group tiedto the local landscape of the region. The article just mentions in passing the brutal massacre of the Boers by the Zulus [ "hundreds of deaths at the hands of the Zulus." ] which preceded the battle at Nacome River of December 16 which is an important point for context. As toomany Westerners have an erroneous impression of the event& often do not realize that this event did not happen in avacuum & that it was the conclusion of a war campaignstarted by the Zulus in their then attempts under Dingaan ateradicating the Natal Boers & perhaps even beyond. This isprobably why it is often erroneously viewed as "a conquest"because those who presume such are ignorant of the fullstory which preceded it & are also ignorant to the fact thatthe Boers did not conquer the Zulus nor Zululand but simplyrepelled a Zulu attack on their laager in Natal. Though the first problem with this article of course is theobvious perpetuation of the Afrikaner appropriation of Boerhistory as this vow & entire event is part of Boer history
while the yet to be named Afrikaners of the Western Caperidiculed the Boers of the frontier for wanting to "leavecivilization behind" & thought that their trekking migrationsinto the interior [ later called the Great Trek by Afrikanerhistorians who used this event as part of a regiment toappropriate & co-opt the conquered Boer people ] wouldamount to nothing or whose participants would all end updead. The Boer people are an anthropologically distinctethno cultural group / entity from the bulk of the macroAfrikaner population. This is because the Boers are the directdescendents of the Trekboers who began to trek inlandstarting during the late 1600s & all throughout the 1700s. [ 1] While the vast majority of the macro group calledAfrikaners are descended from the Afrikaans speakers whodeveloped in the south western Cape region & were oftenknown as the Cape Dutch. [ 2 ] Afrikaans author Brian Du Toit [ French surname as the Afrikaans peoples aresignificantly descended from French Huguenots ] notes onpage 1 of his book: [ 3 ] The Boers in East Africa: Ethnicityand Identity that quote: [ The Boers had a tradition of trekking. Boer society was born on the frontiers of whitesettlement and on the outskirts of civilization. As membersof a frontier society they always had a hinterland, openspaces to conquer, territory to occupy. Their ancestors hadmoved away from the limiting confines of Cape society tosettle the eastern frontier. In time this location became toorestricted, and individuals and families moved north acrossthe Orange River. ] (End quote). The term Boer [ which wasshortened from Trekboer ] [ 4 ] was used to describe thepastoral Afrikaans speakers who occupied the eastern Capefrontier during the era of VOC administration at the Cape.While Boers might also occasionally have referred tothemselves as "Afrikaners" this was meant as "Africans" asthe Boers considered themselves Africans quite early on &cut all ties to Europe back in the late 17th cent [ 5 ] whentheir Trekboer ancestors trekked away from Colonial society& out of the Western Cape region. The problem is that duringthe late 19th cent the Cape Dutch began to start callingthemselves Afrikaners [ after a language rights movement

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