Monday, September 10, 2007

at least 2.7 million
Afrikaners are an ethnic group of Northwestern European ancestry and associated with Southern Africa and the Afrikaans language.


Related ethno-linguistic groups
Afrikaners are descended from northwestern European settlers who first arrived in the Cape of Good Hope during the period of administration (1652–1795) by the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC). While the original settlers came mainly from the Netherlands, their numbers were also swelled later by French and German religious refugees. Their antecendents were primarily Dutch Calvinists and Flemish, together with numbers of Germans, French Huguenots, Frisians and Walloons. They lost their Dutch citizenship when the Prince of Orange acquiesced to British occupation and control of the Cape Colony in 1788.
The original intention by the Dutch who first settled at the Cape in 1652 was to establish a geographically limited refreshment station for the Dutch East India Company. The arrival in 1688 of French Huguenots who had escaped Catholic religious persecution added new blood and increased the settlers' numbers. Some of the colonists from other parts of Europe (e.g. Scandinavia, Portugal, Spain, and Scotland) were later also incorporated into what today comprises Afrikaners.
The first person on record as referring to himself as an "Afrikaner" was Hendrik Biebouw, who, in March 1707, stated that he was an Afrikaner and did not want to leave Africa. Biebouw meant by this claim to resist his expulsion from the Cape Colony, as ordered by the magistrate of Stellenbosch. The term is intended to indicate a first loyalty to South Africa, rather than to a European country. In that regard its usage is similar to the term American when applied to a European descended U.S. citizen.
Some Afrikaners refer to themselves as 'Boers'. 'Boer' literally means 'farmer' in Dutch, but its precise meaning inside South Africa can be ambiguous, and tends to shift depending on the context and the way in which the word is said. Because agriculture is one of South Africa's most technologically advanced and profitable industries, to describe someone as a boer can indicate that he or she is an important member of the community. Before the former white government transferred power to the newly elected black majority government, Anti-apartheid activists within South Africa referred to the police force (who had to enforce apartheid legislation) as "Boere." A political slogan of that era urged "Kill the Boer, kill the farmer." [4]
Origins of ethnic group
This section considers the impact of various Afrikaner migrations on the formation and contents of Afrikaner ethnicity. The impact of the experiences of colonial migrants from the Cape colony, like those from the Boer Republics after the Anglo-Boer wars, are traced. Seminal events such as the Battle of Blood River were interpreted as demonstrating divine support for Afrikaner identity in relation to indigenous peoples. During the Union era such events were reinterpreted in relation to British rule. Recent controversies about the "Bok van Blerk song" shows how historical events still provide tools for a reconstruction of a post-Afrikaner identity free from the taints of the apartheid era. Post-apartheid migrations should be considered in terms of their implications for Afrikaner identity.

Main article: Great Trek Great Trek

Main article: Boer Republics Boer republics
After the second Anglo-Boer War, a Boer diaspora occurred, following a smaller exodus in the 1890s to Mashonaland and Matabeleland (today Zimbabwe), concentrated at the town of Enkeldoorn (Du Toit 1998:47). Starting in 1903 the largest group emigrated to the Patagonia region of Argentina. Another group emigrated to British-ruled Kenya, from where most returned to South Africa during the 1930s. A third group under the leadership of General Ben Viljoen emigrated to Mexico and to New Mexico and Texas in the south-western USA. Others migrated to other parts of Africa, including German East Africa (present day Tanzania, mostly near Arusha) and even Angola (where smaller and larger groups settled on the Bihe and the Humpata plateaus, respectively; Du Toit 1998:45). British East AfricaAfrikaner A relatively large group of Boers settled in Kenya during the first decade of the 20th century. Brian du Toit indicates that the first wave of migrants comprised single families, followed by larger multiple family treks (Du Toit 1998:57). Some must have arrived in 1904 already, when a newspaper photograph identifies a tent town for "some of the early settlers from South Africa" on what today is the campus of the University of Nairobi. [6] Probably the first to arrive was W.J. Van Breda (1903), followed by and John de Waal and Frans Arnoldi at Nakuru (1906). Arnoldi had visited Van Breda and his two brothers in 1905. Jannie De Beer's family already resided at Athi River, while Ignatius Gouws resided at Solai (Du Toit 1998:45,62). The second wave of migrants is exemplified by Jan Janse van Rensburg's trek. Janse van Rensburg left the Transvaal on an exploratory trip to British East Africa in 1906 from Lourenco Marques (then Mozambique). Janse van Rensburg was inspired by an earlier Boer migrant, Abraham Joubert, who had moved to Nairobi from Arusha in 1906, along with others. When Joubert visited the Transvaal that year, Janse van Rensburg met with him (Du Toit 1998:61). Sources disagree about whether Janse van Rensburg received guarantees for land from the Governor, Sir James Hayes Sadler (Du Toit 1998:62). On his return to the Transvaal, Janse van Rensburg recruited about 280 people (comprising either 47 or 60 families) to accompany him to British East Africa. Most came from districts around Ermelo and Carolina. On 9 July 1908 Janse van Rensburg's party sailed in the chartered boat SS Windhuk from Lourenco Marques to Mombasa, from where they boarded a train for Nairobi. The party travelled by five trains to Nakuru.[7] In 1911 the last of the large trek groups departed for Kenya, when some 60 families from the Orange Free State boarded the SS Skramstad in Durban under leadership of C.J. Cloete [8]. But migration dwindled, partly due to stricter cash requirements imposed on migrants by the British secretary of state (then Lord Crewe). The granting of self-government to the former Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State in 1906 and 1907, respectively, also contributed. Yet a trickle of individual trekker families continued to migrate into the 1950s (Du Toit 1998:63). A combination of factors spurred Boer migration on. Some, like Janse van Rensburg and Cloete, had collaborated with the British, or had surrendered during the Boer War (Du Toit 1998:63). These joiners and hensoppers subsequently experienced hostility from other Boers. Many migrants were extremely poor and had subsisted on others' property.[9] Collaborators tended to move to British East Africa, while those who had fought to the end (called bittereinders) initially preferred German East Africa (Du Toit 1998:45). One of the best known Boer settlements in the British East Africa Protectorate was at Eldoret, in the south west of what became known as Kenya in 1920. By 1934 some 700 Boers lived here, near the Uganda border [10].
Boer War diaspora

Main article: South West Africa South West Africa
Since the first all-inclusive democratic elections in 1994, many well-qualified Afrikaners have been emigrating from South Africa and Namibia to "first world" countries. Most are settling in traditionally English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, but many are also emigrating to Dutch-speaking countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium.
Afrikaner diaspora

Main article: Volkstaat Volkstaat

Modern history
Sharpeville Massacre · Soweto uprising Treason Trial Rivonia Trial · Church Street bombing CODESA · St James Church massacre ANC · IFP · AWB · Black Sash · CCB PP · RP ·PRP· PFP · HNP · MK · PAC · SACP · UDF Broederbond · National Party · COSATU
PW Botha · Oupa Gqozo · DF Malan Nelson Mandela · Mahatma Gandhi · Walter Sisulu Helen Suzman · Harry Schwarz · Andries Treurnicht HF Verwoerd · Oliver Tambo · BJ Vorster Kaiser Matanzima · Jimmy Kruger · Steve Biko Bantustan · District Six · Robben Island Sophiatown · South-West Africa Soweto · Vlakplaas
Apartheid laws · Freedom Charter Sullivan Principles · Kairos Document Disinvestment campaign South African Police

Main article: Apartheid Apartheid era
In recent years there has been a tendency within South Africa to describe the mixed race ("coloured") population of South Africa, most of whom speak Afrikaans as their first language, as Afrikaners or 'coloured Afrikaners'. However the Afrikaans-speakers of mixed race in South Africa and Namibia usually refer to themselves as "kleurlinge" ('coloureds') and "bruinmense" ('brown people'). "Basters" ('of mixed race', literally 'bastards') is a term that was formerly common but is now rarely encountered due to its pejorative nature. Other non-white Afrikaans-speaking groups are the "Griqua", "Namaqua", and "Khoikhoi".
The switch from 'coloured' to 'Afrikaner' has seen some success despite the history of exclusion during the colonial and apartheid eras. However, many Afrikaans-speaking coloureds feel they have developed a separate identity from white Afrikaners due to the strict racial segregation policies of the apartheid years, and there are marked colloquial differences between the languages as spoken by whites and Cape coloureds. Some Afrikaans-speaking coloureds also practise the Islamic religion, due to their Malay roots.
Recently, some liberal Afrikaans-speaking South Africans and Namibians have rejected the label 'Afrikaner', because of its negative connotations of racial and religious intolerance. Some use the neologism and racially neutral term "Afrikaanses" to refer to themselves as persons whose mother tongue is Afrikaans, disregarding the supposed – and hard to define – ethnic identity or apartheid-era racial categorisation.
Post-Apartheid era

Although there is no indication of "ethnic group" or "ethnicity" in the South African census, a combination of race (white) and first language (Afrikaans) is the closest available approximation of Afrikaner. There were 2,536,906 white Afrikaans first language speakers in South Africa according to the 2001 census (1996: 2,558,956).
This population were spread across the provinces as follows according to the 2001 census:
The fine spread of the population throughout the country was caused by the Great Trek, which took advantage of the abundance of undeveloped land in the South African interior and a steady supply of non-Afrikaner labour. This counteracted any need for Afrikaners to stay in an area equitable with their total population.
Eastern Cape 148,809 (1996: 154,513), forming 2.31% of total provincial population
Free State 214,020 (1996: 279,135), forming 7.9% of the total provincial population
Gauteng 1,003,860 (1996: 958,351), forming 11.36% of the total provincial population
Kwazulu-Natal 116,307 (1996: 124,555), forming 1.22% of the total provincial population
Limpopo 110,028 (1996: 98,875), forming 2.08% of the total provincial population
Mpumalanga 170,526 (1996: 208,655), forming 5.46% of the total provincial population
Northern Cape 93,222 (1996: 101,704), forming 11.33% of the total provincial population
North West 218,611 (1996: 196,347), forming 5.95% of the total provincial population
Western Cape 461,522 (1996: 436,822), forming 10.42% of the total provincial population Republic of South Africa
There were 133,324 speakers of Afrikaans in Namibia, forming 9.5% of the total national population, according to the 1991 census. Afrikaners are mostly found in Windhoek and in the Southern provinces.
A significant number of Afrikaners have migrated to countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, and Mexico.
A large number of young Afrikaners are taking advantage of working holiday visas made available by the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, as well as the Netherlands and Belgium, to gain work experience. The favourable exchange rate with the South African Rand (ZAR) also increases the attractiveness of international experience.
Global presence

Afrikaner Religion

Main article: Afrikaans Language
Afrikaners have a long literary tradition, and have produced a number of notable novelists and poets, including Uys Krige, Elisabeth Eybers, Breyten Breytenbach, André Brink, and Athol Fugard.
Music is probably the most popular artform among Afrikaners. While the traditional Boeremusiek (Boer Music) and Volkspele (literally, People Games) folk dancing enjoyed popularity in the past, most Afrikaners today favour a variety of international genres and light popular Afrikaans music. Some also enjoy a social dance event called a sokkie.
Rugby, cricket and golf are generally considered to be the most popular sports among Afrikaners. Rugby in particular is considered one of the central pillars of the Afrikaner community.
"Boere-sport" also played a very big role in the Afrikaner history. It consisted of a variety of sports like 'tug of war', three-legged races, jukskei, skilpadloop (tortoise walk) and other games.

The Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV) (Afrikaans Language and Culture Society) is responsible for promoting the Afrikaans language and culture.
The Freedom Front is an Afrikaner ethnic political party in the Republican tradition, which lobbies for minority rights to be granted to all of the South African ethnic minorities. The Freedom Front is also leading the Volkstaat initiative and is closely associated to the small town of Orania. However, this party has only minority support among Afrikaners, with most supporting the Democratic Alliance.
Differences of opinion about who qualifies as an Afrikaner arise from two opposing assumptions about the nature of ethnicity. A complicating factor is that ethnicity can be self-claimed, or can be ascribed by outsiders.
A first understanding of ethnicity is that it primarily describes relatively static inherent qualities that define exclusive groups based on common descent. Accordingly, individuals are born into distinct ethnic groups which share distinctive characteristics such as culture, religion, and language. From this perspective, you are born an Afrikaner; once an Afrikaner, always an Afrikaner. This perspective tends to be a-historical, in as far as it ignores the transmission of culture over time. Ethnicity is seen as a given.
A second assumption is that ethnicity comprises more fluid identity elements that create rather open-ended groups for particular purposes. Accordingly, ethnic groups form to meet particular needs, often to forge a superficial nationalistic unity out of rather disparate groups in order to gain material, social, or political advantages. From this viewpoint, ethnic groups exhibit great fluidity over time. Simply put, someone who is French can become an Afrikaner, for instance by learning the language and identifying with others who claim to be Afrikaners. In an extreme form, this argument leads to the conclusion that the commonalities within ethnic groups are largely imagined, and may in fact hide huge differences of dialect, religion, and historical experience. Proponents of this viewpoint may find it difficult to account for the stability of certain ethnic groups over time.
A commonly-understood--but seldom-mentioned--factor is that the definition of Afrikaner hinged on racial and linguistic components. While both were present from the start, the linguistic element received particular emphasis under British rule, and the racial element during apartheid. The project of forging an ethnic group arose among some non-British settlers who wanted to organize nationalistic opposition against the restrictive political oversight of first, their Dutch, and, later, their British rulers. Another purpose was to distinguish Afrikaans-speakers of European descent from indigenous groups (such as the Khoi) and slaves who may well have coined the language. Consequently, the meaning of "Afrikaner" was restricted to those who were both white and Afrikaans-speaking.
Changes in how "Afrikaner" is understood can clearly be traced through South African history in a way that incorporates elements of both static and fluid assumptions about ethnicity. During the 18th century the term was initially used by Dutch colonists to indicate their unique rootedness in Africa, even though they actually still spoke Dutch. The initial assumption of Dutch descent became irrelevant later when German and French settlers were incorporated into the 19th century definition. At this time the definition depended largely (but not completely) on uniting disparate settlers in opposition to British rule. The challenge was to forge an Afrikaner ethnic group from different economic classes and divergent levels of support for the British regime. What qualified one as belonging to an Afrikaner ethnic group varied somewhat according to historical period, .
While it may seem that the definition of "Afrikaner" is currently more problematic than before, such complexities were already present in colonial periods, as discussed below. Some have argued that the exclusive, racial overtones inherent in "Afrikaner" should be abandoned in favor of the linguistically more inclusive term, Afrikaanses.
The early Dutch colonists who claimed to be Afrikaners at the beginning of the 18th century did not constitute a distinct and new ethnic group. As first generation immigrants, they were culturally closer to their original ethnicities, (Dutch and later French and German). (Note that while the linguistic categories "Dutch", "French," and "German" are used as though they were homogeneous, they, too, comprised quite distinct dialects forged into unity through political and social projects, as indicated by the need to impose "Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands" in the Netherlands, for instance) see Dutch language. From the first assumption about ethnicity described above, this group over time formed a shared identity with a common language (Afrikaans), Protestant religious orientation, and cultural traits, distinct from--yet often borrowed from--their respective ancestors and British colonists. Yet while the early Afrikaners were largely Protestants, the Great Trek soon divided them into opposing religious factions. Economic differences existed which largely overlapped with regional variations between the western and eastern parts of the Cape colony, for instance.
The colonists at the Cape who remained when others began to trek inland during the 1690s and into the 1700s and were generally more affluent than those who trekked eastwards. The Cape Dutch tended to be loyal or indifferent to the colonial powers and as such did not take part in the Great Trek.
Ideological and cultural divides emerged between the Cape Dutch, Trekboers who migrated northwest, and Voortrekkers who moved northeast in the Great Trek. The term "Boer" (farmer) came to be applied to Afrikaners who settled along the eastern Cape frontier and the Republican Afrikanders who trekked inland during the Great Trek. While such distinctions are presently less pronounced, due to the free movement between all areas of the South Africa, regional dialects among Afrikaans-speakers remain.
(tagged since February 2007)
Currently it is difficult to classify anyone as an Afrikaner
White nationalism

Afrikaner Calvinism
Afrikaner cattle
Huguenots in South Africa
Whites in South Africa
White people
White Africans
Cape Coloureds
Cape Dutch
Cape Malay
Culture of South Africa
List of notable Afrikaners
South African farm attacks

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