Treu Deutsch alle Wege - cultural identity and the German community of Philippi

Rabe, Lizette (2008-11)

The original publication is available at http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication/culture

Please cite as follows:

Rabe, L. 2008. "Treu Deutsch alle Wege!" - cultural identity and the "German" community of Philippi. South African Journal of Cultural History, 22(2):86-106.

Article

At a time when the notion of identity seems to be a burning issue on the South African national agenda as attempts are made to redefine the country's post-94 identity in a multilingual and multicultural society, it might be of significance to focus on a specific community and its attempts to define its identity. Following an introductory background to the history of the community, this article briefly discusses the concept of identity, and then focuses on the descendants of the German immigrants to Philippi on the Cape Flats and on specific events in which the binary nature of their national identity came to the fore. A particular German identity infused every aspect of the community's life, from religion to school, work and recreation, yet these immigrants regarded themselves as being South Africans. The causes of this cultural identity are discussed. The article also touches on the inevitable influence the Second World War had on this community and, as a result, how the eventual "border" identity of being both German and South African, was forged even more strongly.

In 'n tyd waarin die begrip identiteit 'n brandende kwessie op die Suid-Afrikaanse agenda is, terwyl gepoog word om die land se post-94-identiteit te herdefinieer in 'n veeltalige, multikulturele samelewing, kan dit verhelderend wees om te fokus op 'n spesifieke gemeenskap en sy pogings om 'n sekere identiteit te vestig. Ná 'n inleidende agtergrond van die gemeenskap, word die konsep van identiteit kortliks in die artikel bespreek en dan gefokus op die afstammelinge van die Duitse immigrante na Philippi op die Kaapse Vlakte, en spesifieke geleenthede waarin die binêre aard van hulle nasionale kulturele identiteit na vore kom. 'n Spesifiek Duitse identiteit het elke aspek van hulle lewe gevorm - van geloof tot skool, werk en ontspanning. Tog het hierdie immigrante hulleself as Suid-Afrikaners beskou. Die redes vir hierdie Duitse nasionalistiese identiteit word bespreek. Die artikel toon ook die onvermydelike invloed aan wat die Tweede Wêreldoorlog op die gemeenskap gehad het, en, as 'n gevolg, hoe die "grens"-identiteit van terselfdertyd Duits- en Suid-Afrikaans-wees, selfs versterk is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86191
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