The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument (ATM) and the Afrikaanse Taalraad (Afrikaans Language Board, ATR) will discuss a number of interesting questions about the origin and establishment of Afrikaans as a fully-fledged indigenous language during their joint Language Day celebrations on 26 August 2017 in Paarl.
How and where did Afrikaans originate and whose language is it? How does one, in hindsight, understand the contribution of the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (Fellowship of True Afrikaners, GRA) on 14 August 1875 to the development of the language? Who all contributed to the creation of Afrikaans and what will it look like in 2040?
The day will consist of a panel discussion on the origin of Afrikaans and a cultural programme that will celebrate the diverse origins and cultures of the Afrikaans language community. The panel members are Prof Christo van Rensburg, author of So kry ons Afrikaans, Anzil Kulsen, author and project manager at the ATKV, Imam Hashim Salie, former president of the South African Hajj and Umrah Council, and Prof Charlyn Dyers, co-editor of the book Kaaps in fokus.
ATM director Michael Jonas says: “The eight founding members of the GRA are an encouraging example of how ordinary people can make a difference by standing up for their language. Afrikaans is again under enormous pressure today even though for many people it is their only form of communication. The ATM would like to take part in debating burning issues in our Afrikaans language community, especially those that harm the language and all its speakers.”
According to Dr Conrad Steenkamp, chief executive of the ATR, this Language Day aims “to address some negative narratives about the origin and ownership of Afrikaans, thus promoting unity between Afrikaans speakers”. Afrikaans.com will help spread the Language Day’s message widely.
The celebrations take place at the hall of the Toringkerk in Paarl, corner of Main and Van der Lingen Streets. The panel discussion begins at 09:30, followed by the cultural programme at 13:30. Attendance is free, but seats are limited. Book with Ria Olivier (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nkita Pietersen (email@example.com). Please call 021 872 3441 for more information, and see www.afrikaansetaalraad.co.za and www.taalmuseum.co.za for more on the organisations.