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De la Rey

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Michael came home for lunch with a nice bag of goodies for us. I bribed him to go to Woolworths for me, and get me some Woolies apples (the only kind I eat). Also a little tub of coriander, for which I have acquired quite a taste. And a packet of dates for a treat. I am making a last-ditch attempt to rectify my eating habits, lol. Maybe I’ll give up some stuff for Lent, that should help. Today I’ve only had fruit so far, and for supper I plan on having some nice veggies (butternut, potato and spinach) and and some mung-beans that I’ve sprouted with some Woolies health-bread toast. See, I’m trying.

Another thing that M bought was a new CD for us. I think I’ve mentioned before that him and I are very into Afrikaans music. And a new Afrikaans song that has taken the country by storm, is De la Rey, by Bok van Blert. I heard it for the first time yesterday evening on our local magazine programme, Carte Blanche. A lot of people are in uproar about it.

You see, it’s a lovely catchy song about the Anglo-Boer war. Ancient history! But South Africans, being South Africans, have decided to make it political and racial. The Boere-Volk have decided to adopt it as their song for this generation. They sing it patriotically at sports events like it is an anthem. And the non-Boere-volk (to put it very diplomatically) have decided that the song is somehow against them. 

What a storm in a teacup! All because someone sang a historical song about a famous Boer general who led his people into war. Is it so different from songs like Waterloo?

I myself am half Boer, half British. First and foremost a South African, but I have European heritage on both sides. I’m probably more proud of my Boer heritage, because we are an extremely proud nation. Very, very focused on culture and tradition. The British tried to wipe out the Afrikaner language and heritage back in the days when SA was a British colony. Hence the Anglo-Boer war. Nowadays, Afrikaans is again heading for endangered species territory. That is why (I think) Afrikaners are a bit on the defensive about their culture, and why they are embracing a song about their previous (over a century ago) hardships.

Like the person being interviewed on Carte Blanche said, the students that are sitting teary-eyed in pubs, actually get into their luxury BMW’s to drive home. Their suffering is imagined.

I don’t know what to make of the racial undertones of the song, however. Probably there is a communal memory of the last time the Afrikaners banded together so fiercely, which was during the apartheid years. I don’t know.

But people should seriously consider putting all this racist nonsense behind them. How are we ever going to move forward as a country if everyone is still holding bitter grudges in their hearts. We gotta lighten up here.

In the meantime, I am really enjoying De la Rey. Catchy, catchy tune.

Written by Maggie

February 19, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. It’s a nice song that makes me feel proud to be an Afrikaans speaking South African. A person can get very politcal, but lets just leave it at that. There is no racial aspect to the song itself even though the reality is that a lot of right wingers have hjacked it already. I like the song for the great tune and words etc.


    February 19, 2007 at 10:22 pm

  2. The thing about the right wingers are that they are proudly Afrikaans speaking boere. It was “their” forefathers who fought in that war. For them it’s a personal thing and not racial but probably just more historical of their culture and heritage.
    I love the song. BRILLIANT song


    February 21, 2007 at 8:56 am

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