Die impak van die grensoorlog (SWA/Angola) op die lewens van soldate, aan die hand van vertellings uit die oorlog

Boshoff, Alida (2000-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: It is asswned that events during the border war (SWAI Angola) had an influencelimpact on the lives of soldiers who took part in it. Some experiences have become embedded in their memories and are reflected in yams about such episodes and anecdotes that constitute a wealth of oral art. From a cultural history point of view, these therefore deserve to be recorded and conserved. The study interprets the narratives against the background of the border war and determines the relationship between these stories and the influence of the war on the lives of soldiers. Examples of war hwnour are grouped into stories about personal hygiene, misunderstandings, boyish pranks, practical jokes and other humorous incidents. As in any war, soldiers were confronted with unpleasant experiences such as bad news from home, the death of comrades and the enemy, adventures with wild animals and the loss of pets. Tales about soldiers' experiences during contact with the enemy allow one to gain insight into the functioning of the human mind. These stories are grouped into heroic deeds, narrow escapes and feelings experienced in contact with the enemy. As far as is known, no legends had their origin in the border war, but stories about quite a few legendary characters are told. Stories about helicopter pilots and trackers might eventually develop into legends, because of the fearlessness and skill of these people. Myths are stories originating in folkbelief, in which God or the gods play an important role. However, stories from the border war about chaplains and religion are not myths, but tales about personal experience with a religious inclination. It is clear from the narratives that religion played an important role in the lives of soldiers and that they had a child-like trust in a Supreme Being. Leaders, trackers and helicopter pilots were identified as important people in soldiers' battle for survival. They also had a need of female company and the presence of women. Pets played a significant role in allowing them to express their emotions. Each soldier experienced confrontation with death and the enemy in his own unique manner. In spite of hardships, many tales of a humorous nature were told. This can be regarded as a way of dealing and coping with unpleasant experiences.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die veronderstelling is dat gebeure gedurende die grensoorlog (SW AI Angola) In invloed/impak op die soldate wat daaraan deelgeneem het, se lewens gehad het. Sekere ervarings is in hulle geheue vasgele en kom in die vorm van belewenisvertellings en staaltjies na Yore, wat In ryke skat van volkswoordkuns bied. Dit verdien daarom om vanuit In kultuurhistoriese oogpunt opgeteken en bewaar te word. Die studie vertolk die vertellings teen die agtergrond van die grensoorlog en bepaal die verband tussen die vertellings en die invloed van die oorlog op die lewens van soldate. Voorbeelde van oorlogshumor word gegroepeer in verhale wat handel oor persoonlike higiene, misverstande, kwajongstreke, poetse en ander humoristiese insidente. Soos in enige oorlog, is soldate gekonfronteer met onaangename wedervarings soos slegte nuus van die huis af, die dood van makkers en die vyand, wedervarings met wilde diere en die verlies van troeteldiere. Vertellings oor soldate se ervarings tydens kontak met die vyand verleen insig in die werking van die menslike gees en is gegroepeer in heldedade, noue ontkomings en gevoelens wat ervaar is in kontak met die vyand. Sover bekend bestaan daar nie legendes uit die grensoorlog nie, maar daar is van In hele paar legendariese karakters vertel. Vanwee hulle onverskrokkenheid en vemuf kan verhale oor helikoptervlieeniers en spoorsnyers met verloop van tyd legendes word. Mites is verhale wat uit die volksgeloof spruit en waarin God of gode Inbelangrike rol speel. Verhale uit die grensoorlog wat handel oor kapelane en godsdiens, is egter nie mites nie maar belewenisvertellings met In godsdienstige strekking. Uit die vertellings blyk dit dat godsdiens In belangrike rol in die lewens van soldate gespeel het en dat daar In kinderlike vertroue in In Hoer Hand was. Leiersfigure, spoorsnyers en helikoptervlieeniers is geidentifiseer as belangrike persone in soldate se oorlewingstryd. Daar was ook In behoefte aan vroulike geselskap en teenwoordigheid. Troeteldiere het In belangrike rol gespeel om uiting te gee aan emosies. Soldate het konfrontasie met die dood en die vyand elkeen op sy eie unieke manier beleef. Ten spyte van ontberings, is daar heelwat verhale met In humoristiese strekking vertel en dit kan beskou word as In manier om onaangename ervarings te hanteer en te verwerk.

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