Al sietmen de lui … : perspektiewe op boere en boerejolyt in enkele Nederlandse en Afrikaanse gedigte

Van Zyl, Dorothea (2001-04)

CITATION: Van Zyl, D. 2001. Al sietmen de lui… : perspektiewe op boere en boerejolyt in enkele Nederlandse en Afrikaanse gedigte. Literator, 22(1): 81-98, doi: 10.4102/lit.v22i1.354.

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A selection of a few Dutch and Afrikaans poems from, inter alia, the seventeenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century, share so many characteristics in their combination of the subjects “farmer” (“boer”) and “feast”, that in this article the question is raised whether these stereotypes form part of a relatively fixed traditional topic or “storehouse” of conventions. Each poem utilizes colloquial language, diminutives and nicknames in the depiction of a dance party in a rural setting – an event characterized by immoderate behaviour, particularly regarding love-making and the use of liquor. More recent Afrikaans poems (written within a context where the initially negative term “Boer” has been transfigured positively due to the expansion of Afrikaner-Nationalist power) satirize other aspects, like status and wealth instead of backwardness, but it seems as if excess and transgression are still associated with “boer” in combination with festivity. The concept of farmer often functions as the Other in these poems, in binary opposition to the narrator.

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