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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The past in the present: family histories written by German-speakers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Author:De Kadt, ElizabethISNI
Year:2004
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Volume:16
Issue:1
Pages:96-106
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Natal
Subjects:self-concept
colonists
Germans
colonial history
Abstract:This paper focuses on the preservation of the German language introduced by 19th-century immigrants to colonial Natal, which in certain communities is still spoken today. One feature of these communities is their fascination with the past. This has resulted in the production of numerous family, parish and school histories, which recreate the five or six generations spent in South Africa. The paper investigates five of these family histories and explores their role in myth-making and in maintaining the self-perception of these ethnic groups as German - though on the basis of a vision of 'Germanness' which is peculiar to the local South African context. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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