One hundred and eighty-five years after the Great Trek, the Voortrekkers are going to take root in Southeast Asia with the development of a new cultural park in the Indian capital, New Delhi.
“The story of the Voortrekkers and the Voortrekker Monument (VTM) is one of hope and prospect, despite setbacks and adversity,” says Danie Langner, managing director of the Voortrekker Monument. “Now this story is also being told internationally with the addition of a Voortrekker Monument replica in Karol Bach, a residential area in the capital of India.”
The local authorities of Delhi will soon build the Ajmal Khan-Park Heritage Park in this residential area to commemorate the G20 summit that will take place in India in September.
Here, the Voortrekker Monument will take pride of place next to world-famous monuments from the G20 countries: Japan’s Kofuku-ji, India’s Elephanta Caves, China’s Great Wall, Korea’s Sansa Buddhist Mountain, Russia’s Palace of St. Petersburg, Saudi Arabia’s Saad bin Saud Palace and Turkey’s Library of Celsus.
This will be the first replica of the Voortrekker Monument to be unveiled at an international level.
The replicas will each be between 15 and 20 feet tall and cost between 1 200 000 and 2 000 000 rupees (between R270 000 and R450 000) to build.
NP van Wyk Louw writes in his collected works, when he taught international students, the question arose: “What do you (Africans) mean to us and to the rest of the world?” His answer to that was: “It is clear to me: a nation must have something in it…. even if it is the finest nuance of a revelation of life’s richness…”
Langner says that out of the hundreds of monuments in our country, they chose the Voortrekker monument and it is an enormous honor for the monument.
“This project makes one feel small and humble. Afrikaners are now taking their place among the peoples of the world. Van Wyk Louw expressed the sigh that the world will see the attractiveness of the Afrikaner and here it is happening today in front of our eyes.”
According to a report on the news website news9live.com, a senior official of the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) says the theme park will be developed to educate visitors about the diverse cultures and history of the G20 countries.
The design of the park is modeled on the “Waste to Wonder Park”, which showcases replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World.
As one of the most polluted countries in the world, India decided to use this project to shed light on the pollution crisis and make all the replicas out of scrap and waste materials.
The Ajmal Khan Park is the fourth of its kind in India.
“The Voortrekker Monument was built on a 341 hectare farm in the city and our natural and environmental heritage is highly valued, therefore the Voortrekker Monument is also proud to be able to participate in a project that addresses India’s own challenge in terms of put pollution under the spotlight.”
Since the official dedication of the Voortrekker Monument in 1949, the site has expanded into a world-class monument with various exhibits that tell the history of the Afrikaner through numerous exhibitions, museums and even a theater, adds Langner.
“The Voortrekker Monument also opened the first museum theater of its kind in the southern hemisphere earlier this year and this replica in the Ajmal Khan Park proves once again that it really is a world-class monument. The monument is a cultural home where everyone is welcome and our beacon of hope’s light will also shine now, almost 8,000 km from where it was erected 74 years ago.”