Afrikaans birthday: Wishes from Argentina


Afrikaans first received its status as an official language in South Africa on 8 May 1925. In the run-up to next year’s big celebrations of the language’s 100th birthday, Augusto Romeo sent RNnews readers a letter from Argentina.

At the beginning of 2020, and at the beginning of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Augusto developed an interest in Afrikaans and the history of South Africa. His letter is published just as he sent it to us. The letter has not been edited or edited. -Save

A feeling from the heart

During the year 2020, people were immersed in a certain anxiety and melancholy. The covid 19 pandemic was happening. This limited most recreational activities, such as social interaction.

It is there as a history lover that I immersed myself in the culture and history of the Afrikaner people.

What impressed me the most is the effort and perseverance to maintain their roots, their language (undoubtedly what represents them the most).

First I felt attached to grammar and pronunciation, then to music.

I finally decided to get even more involved in their rich history.

It was difficult in my country to find someone to teach and prepare me, of course somewhat different cultures.

In that way, at the Germanic language institute I made a request and finally an Argentinian teacher, with Dutch roots and who lived in South Africa for 6 months, offered to involve me more.

I think, above all, self-reflection and identification with a culture is what makes us learn a lot from it and that is what I felt from the first moment.

After the didactic teaching, I continued with literature.

Today I get excited to read books by Deon Meyer such as The woman in the blue cloak and Who Plays with Fire.

How can you not shudder with the voice of Karen Zoid or the Rock and the lyrics of Francois Van Coke and Die Heuwel Fantasties?

Also glad to find excellent filmography like Arnold Vosloo’s new series Playful.

Today the pandemic is over, but I am still connected by a fun group on social media “Afrikaans speakers who live outside South Africa” ​​and I decided to take part in a short story submission event that was published in the digital magazine Postscript will be published.

It is for all this that if I do feel so much joy because I want to be part of their culture, I imagine how proud readers must be to have Afrikaans as their mother tongue.

Happy 99th anniversary of Afrikaans as an official language.

Read Augusto’s previous writings on RNews: