20081218

The most peaceful shopping experience is in Friesland

_DSF7113 THE NETHERLANDS. Christmas shopping is a very peaceful festival of light in my town of Dokkum in Friesland, population 17,000. But this year, there's an even more special feeling in the air.

Picture: Dirk Schoonhoven fds-fotopress.com

 

This year, the youths of two nearby fishing villages, located right next to the 6-metre-high seadike below the Wadden Sea, brought in their special treat: their hand-made replica of a genuine traditional fishing boat called the 'Wierumer Aek", which was made as one of the training projects for unemployed youths in our county. The flat-bottomed sailing ship was made to commemorate the terrible tragedy in March 1883 when the entire fleet of the two seaside villages was destroyed and 83 male breadwinners drowned in a terrible storm - the youngest boy was only 12 years old.

This Christmas, the "Aek" is moored in front of the traditional Admiralty House in the old harbour of Dokkum's historic city centre. The humble, brown-sailed fishing boat looks proud and magnificent, all decked out in white, bright lights. After her completion in May this year, she became a popular tourist feature, moored in front of the restaurant "Het Booze Wijf"(the Angry Fish-wife) in the nearby fishing harbour of Lauwersoog. She's now equipped with an engine and a GPS navigation system though...

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Picture of Dokkum City Hall in its Christmas finery: Dirk Schoonhoven, FDS-Fotopress.com

Old-timers here say that they get a special feeling when they see the Aek all decked out in its Christmas finery in the harbour: a mixture of grief for the suffering of those families 125 years ago, but also deep pride in the accomplishments of the 40 unemployed young men who had made this boat from an old drawing which was discovered in the archives of a local museum. These youngsters also learned a new craft while they were building the ship - a 4-year-project - and 30 of them now have full time jobs, while the rest are building on the next project: restoring an old rescue sloop which did service between 1911 to 1940.

The Aek has awakened old memories: people tell the stories, heard so often from their parents and grandparents, about the terrible storm of 1883 which had killed so many fishermen. The storm surge that night, they say, had been at least 22 metres high. And it was so powerful that it bashed a deep bend into the seadike at Wierum which can still be seen to this day...  

These fishing families all were very poor families with some very ancient traditions going back many hundreds of years. The two villages still have two seperate stairways running right next to one another across the dikes from the villages to the oceanside where the ships used to be beached - one stairway for the fishermen, and the other one for the women. The women would climb the high wooden steps with their large baskets and drag the fish from the beached boats down to small dingies, and peddle their wares in Dokkum. To this day, the women of Wierum are famous for their fierceness. That's probably why the restaurant is named 'Het Booze Wijf...'

Today, the next generation of fishermen still come from these towns, and who risk their Wierumer Aeklives every day on the rough North Sea, travelling all the way to the Dogger bank and the sandbanks of Denmark to catch herring, eels, shrimps... However, they now sail in much more comfortable steel boats with modern navigation systems from the deep harbour of Lauwersoog, dropping their fresh catches off at the local fish-factories. Dokkum still is one of the best towns in Friesland where one can buy the freshest fish.

Picture: Adriana Stuijt

So the people of Dokkum have a very special feeling in their hearts for this small, brown-sailed fishing ship moored in their harbour.

The Christmas season has a special feel to it anyway in this market town in the northern-most part of Friesland province. The frantic and truly horrid experience of north-American Christmas shopping isn't very strong here as yet. The Dutch kids usually receive their St. Nicholas presents in their wooden shoes on December 6 -- in exchange for a carrot for Santa's white Spanish horse.  Christmas here is still centered very much around the religious celebration of the birth of Christ. The various local reformed and catholic churches have peagants in which all the families participate - although one can see this tradition changing more each year as commercialism also creeps in here, alas.

DokkumDec2008 003 It's also a tradition for towns in this entire region to compete with one another to display the the most beautiful and creative decorations.

Picture: Oliebollen stand in Dokkum, left... Adriana Stuijt

And because the ancient houses of Dokkum, just like the other ten Frisian cities, are mirrored in its many waterways and canals, the decorations are doubly beautiful, reflected in the water.

Frisian families often cycle to town with the children from far and wide to admire the lights and eat the traditional 'oliebollen' bought from local stalls. These are sort of like very crispy donuts often filled with raisins and bits of apple and dusted with powdered sugar  - but  without the holes. When you see the stalls going up and get that first whiff of an oliebol, you just know that the Christmas season has arrived.

Christmas shopping in our town is sedate, pleasant, and without all those mad last-minute shopping frenzies one so often sees in movies and news reports from north-American, British and European cities. There's none of that nagging, constant stream of jazzed-up Christmas jingles either -- the local pastor of the catholic church is very fond of Bing Crosby's Bells of St Mary's songs, and when one strolls past the church's handcarved nativitiy scene, Der Bingle's magnificent voice can be heard reverberating around the square in front of the city hall and the bank.

Afrikaners are unifying, the ANC is splitting apart

 

Duisende begeesterde Afrikaners woon geloftediens by - baie jongmense...

Also see Canadian news report:  Afrikaners: "Ruling party is plunging South Africa into civil war with its greed, malice...'  http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/263651

DayOfVowPretoria2008 Dec 16 2008 PRETORIA -- Duisende mense het gister vir die jaarlikse geloftediens na die Voortrekkermonument gestroom. Foto: Leon Botha (DIS DAREM MAAR JAMMER DAT HULLE NIE DIE HELE MENSEMASSA WYS NIE)

Hilda Fourie skryf:  Mnr. Pierre Eksteen (79) was op 16 Desember 1938 teenwoordig met die hoeksteenlegging van die Voortrekkermonument in Pretoria. Op 16 Desember 1949 het hy ’n foto geneem van hoe die deure van dié monument tydens die inwyding oopgestoot word.

Gister was Eksteen een van duisende mense wat vroegoggend vir die jaarlikse geloftediens hierheen opgetrek het.
“As kind was dit vir my ongelooflik om hierheen te kom,” het Eksteen gesê. “In 1949 het daar 250 000 mense van oor die hele land hier saamgekom.”

Met die inwyding van die monument het Eksteen en sy vrou, Bokkie (nou 78), aan die massa-volkspele deelgeneem.
Hulle was toe nog nie getroud nie, maar volgens Eksteen “was dié goeie dame tot oor haar ore verlief”.

Mev. Eksteen kan nog onthou hoe daar in die oomblikke voordat die son op die senotaaf geskyn het, stilte en spanning in die lug was. “Dr. D.F. Malan (destydse eerste minister) het nog met sy mooi stem iets gesê, toe val die son op die senotaaf,” het mev. Eksteen gesê. Gister het dié egpaar, wat in Krugersdorp woon, die geloftediens kom bywoon omdat dit 170 jaar sedert die Slag van Bloedrivier is. Anders as in 1949 het hulle dié keer nie gesien hoe die son op die senotaaf skyn nie omdat dit bewolk was. Eksteen vermoed hy is die enigste persoon wat gister se verrigtinge, die hoeksteenlegging ’n die inwyding van die monument bygewoon het.  “Toe die massa mense die Transvaalse volkslied gesing het, het ek hoendervel gekry dat my tone krul.” Wat nog ’n riem onder die hart vir Eksteen was, was hoe baie jongmense dié geleentheid gister bygewoon het. “Ek dink werklik daar is ’n toekoms vir Afrikaners.“Iets moet net los en wakker gemaak word. Soos hier vandag. "http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2442934,00.html

Afrikaans poet Breyten Breytenbach to Afrikaners: ...'leave SA'..

BreytenBreytenbachTellsAfirkanersToLeaveCountryHarpers20081612 BreytonbackWeb One of South Africa's most celebrated Afrikaner writers has issued a damning attack on the South African political order for failing the country's citizens. Breyten Breytenbach, the poet, writer and anti-apartheid activist, has written a scathing article titled Mandela's Smile: notes on South Africa's failed revolution, in the latest edition of the US magazine, Harpers.http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/12/0082308

Breytenbach now divides his time between New York, where he teaches creative writing at New York University, and the Goree Institute in Senegal.A reviewer of the article said that Breytenbach cites "the relentless, mindless violence, nepotism and corruption that prevail here as sources both of South Africa's shame and of Breytenbach's incendiary call to quit the country".

More houses were built for the poor under apartheid than now...

In a subsequent radio interview, listen here Real Audio Stream: Breytenbach charged:

  • "Critical institutions have practically imploded under our national health system, to some extent our educational system, certainly our security system. It is claimed that even under apartheid more houses were built for the poor than has been built by the new government."

"... a lot of it must be brought to the door of responsibility of those in power within the ANC. There's been a very rapid promotion and enrichment, quite obscenely so, of a small number of senior cadres."

He said the transition to democracy could be rightly described as a "boardroom revolution", to the exclusion of the poor he told  Democracy Now.

"Rural areas are war zones..."

Breytenbach was appalled by South Africa's crime rate. "The situation is that we have an average of 55 murders a day.  We probably have something like 150 women being raped. We have, in vast parts of the country in urban areas, what are in effect being considered as war zones. With organised hijacking, with police repression."

The Harper's article is accessible to subscribers only, but news reports on the internet quote Breytenbach suggesting:

  • "If a young South African were to ask me whether he or she should stay or leave, my bitter advice would be to go. For the foreseeable future now, if you want to live your life to the full, and with some satisfaction and usefulness, and you can stand the loss - then go!"

Breytenbach was born in Bonnievale, about 180km outside of Cape Town, and his work includes the book, The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist, in which he describes aspects of his imprisonment by the apartheid state.
  • This article was originally published on page 5 of The Cape Argus on December 17, 2008

Global minorities recognise Afrikaners  - the Sowetan

 ANC splitting apart SOWETAN DEC 17 2008 Meanwhile ANC-leader Jacob Zuma, surrounded by a wall of body guards,left, ZumaBloemfontein_celebrating_TerroristHeroesDec162008also held a commemorative service. He celebrated the fact that it was 49 years ago when his party in exile decided to 'join the violent struggle' and created their military wing, the Spear of the Nation, Umkhonto we Sizwe. This militia is supposed to be defunct, but there they were, dressed in military uniforms. Doesn't anybody remember that Nelson Mandela had sworn off armed violence back in 1994? Why is MK still parading around in Bloemfontein then? Zuma placed wreaths at the monument for his fallen comrades at a time when South Africa's ruling party is splitting straight down the middle. It is being challenged by a new upstart called COPE, led by the former 'freedom fighter' Terror Lekota.

Grobler Piet_Received As Hero_Joined ANC-BREAKAWAY-COPE Yesterday Lekota also held a rally, where he promised that the affirmative actions programmes would come to an end if he won the power battle. AA -- designed to protect an overwhelming majority from a tiny minority -- has rapidly empoverished more than one-million of the 3-million Afrikaners because they are being barred from the job market by law. One Afrikaner, retired dominee and farmer Piet Grobler of Thabazimbi, was so excited about this promise that he promptly joined up as a member at the venue. He was carried to the podium by the cheering crowd.

Meanwhile the following story also is very relavant to all of the above:

AFRIKANERS RECOGNISED BY INTERNATIONAL BODY REPRESENTING MINORITIES

 AfrikanerMembership_UnrepresentedNations_PeoplesOrganisationOct2008The Afrikaners have joined an international organisation fighting for the rights of minorities 
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), at its General Assembly in Brussels over the weekend, accepted the Afrikaner people as one of its 70 members which include Australia’s Aboriginals, the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania and Tibetan monks. According to the Freedom Front Plus, the inclusion in this international pressure group was one of the parties’ greatest achievement’s to date.

“If you look at the situation in South Africa at the moment, it would be unwise for a group such as the Afrikaner not to consider other options, and one of those options is to internationalize our case,” Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder told reporters at a press conference in Pretoria on Monday.

UNPO’s membership consists of indigenous peoples, minorities, and unrecognised or occupied territories. “It is an organisation that fights for the right of the world’s silent voices,” Mulder said. It has grown from its original 15 founders, to representing almost 70 members worldwide.Except for minority groupings, it also includes countries that have declared independence and have not been recognised internationally such as Somaliland which is part of Somalia, and Iraq’s Kurdistan.The organisation lobbies internationally for the rights of these communities and countries including at the United Nations and European Parliament. It counts the recognition of Kosovo as one of its successes. Sapa http://www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=769135

ANC SCRAPS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION - BECAUSE WE NEED THE MOST QUALIFIED...

20000_AfrikanerProtestorsAgainstPretoriaNameChangeNov152008 Dec 16 2008 -- Noting: “South Africa is running so short of skills that affirmative action cannot realistically be considered an issue,” ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe said.

His government would start allowing municipalities to 'sidestep racial quotas' so that the most qualified can work.

  • At least 70 municipalities are without an engineer or artisan, due to affirmative action laws, noted Mantashe.

“Important statistics show that unless we produce at least 2.400 new engineers a year we are not going to cope with the skills shortages in the country”.

Discussion about ending affirmative action quotas in South Africa began last August. The new announcement came about after discussions with The Afrikaans Handelsintituut (AHI).

  • AHI President Venete Klein said Afrikaners have “a lot of skills that could add a lot of value in the areas of housing, healthcare, finance and many other critical areas. If we join hands and work together, success will to the benefit of all South Africa”.
    Source URL:
    http://www.therightperspective.org/?p=602

South Africa must be the only country in the world where the ruling majority actuaslly felt the need to create a law just to bar a tiny, disenfranchised minority from the entire labour market... Under the UN Genocide Convention, this is actually considered as part of the genocide process.