Why put your Afrikaans child in an English school? What if there are no good Afrikaans schools in your community?  How did you experience English schooling as an Afrikaans child?

These are the questions that the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument (ATM) and the Vriende van Afrikaans (Friends of Afrikaans) (VVA) aim to answer during their second “Ommietafel” Conversation on 12 Augustus 2016 – through people’s personal experiences. Everyone is thus invited to come and share their experience of this difficult issue around the theme: In which language should I raise my child?

Sedick Crombie, an experienced mediator, will lead a discussion panel consisting of Dr Danny Titus (Executive Director: Culture at the ATKV), Izak de Vries (journalist and father), Liezel van Beek (business woman) and Sabina Dumas (educator).

According to Amanda de Stadler, Manager of the VVA, the “Ommietafel” Conversation is held annually in celebration of “Taaldag” (Language Day): “We herewith commemorate the founding of the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (GRA) (Association of True Afrikaners) on 14 August 1875. The GRA’s aim was to formalise Afrikaans as a written language. They published the first Afrikaans newspaper, Die Afrikaanse Patriot, in 1876. Guests are therefore encouraged to bring along an Afrikaans children’s book, new or secondhand, in support of the VVA and the ATM’s reading projects. Come and enjoy a lovely cup of soup and speak to your heart’s delight (or from your heart)!”

Michael Jonas, Director of the ATM, says the eight founding fathers of the GRA were ordinary citizens who made a difference by standing up for their language: “Today Afrikaans may be under pressure, but for many people it still is their only form of communication. We would thus like to become more involved in debate about questions at issue in the language community at large.”

The function starts at 19:00 in the Historium Conference Centre next to the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum in Pastorie Avenue, Paarl. Attendance is free of charge, but space is limited. For bookings, contact Amira Clayton at 021 863 0543/2 or kommunikasie@taalmuseum.co.za or Chareldine van der Merwe at 021 880 1761 or chareldinev@vva.atkv.org.za.