Month: November 2015

Blindelings

 

February James - Blind Contour Line Drawing:
February James: Blind Contour line drawing

“Liefde is blind,” mompel die hulle negatief.

Met hierdie gedagte in my hart het ek nou die aand half deur die slaap die donker ingestaar en gefluister: “Ek wil nie blind wees nie.” Nog voor die heimwee van kommer oor my neer kon sak het ‘n stem deur my gedagtegang gevra: “My kind, hoekom nie?”

Alhoewel ek volkome ‘n mate van logika in verhoudings ondersteun, verstaan ek nou dat daar wel ‘n sekere blindheid ontstaan én noodsaaklik is in liefde.

As Christen is hierdie konsep die basis van my geloof: ek kan nie my God as fisieke figuur sien nie, al ervaar ek sy alomteenwoordige gees. Ek kan onmoontlik sy diversiteit en kante uitken en begryp of verstaan. Ek is dan blind in my liefde vir God.

God is ook blind in sy liefde vir my. Sy genade is ‘n testament van hierdie blindheid.

Hierdie geestelike en bo-natuurlike liefde is die basis van my identiteit en bestaan. Is dit dan nie natuurlik om só ook mense blindelings lief te hê nie?

Liefde is dan blind. Daarom aanvaar ek jou as mens; as blote mens wat ook sal val en struikel en kop sal stamp. Daarom aanvaar ek jou as vennoot om saam met my blindelings lief te hê en die verbrokkelde pad na ewigheid struikelend te stap.

Wat is ons nie as net die blind wat die blind lei nie?

Daarom sal ek vanaand half deur die slaap prewel: “Ek wil blind wees.”

Tone trap taal

Omdat ek self nog nie ‘n opinie kon formuleer oor die heidige taalkrisis wat ons land getref het nie, wil ek so veel as moontlik enige kultuur en identiteit- paniek blus met ‘n gerusstellende gedig:

Marius Titus:

Skryfwerk

Daar happen soms iets,
ennek siennit.
Ek skryffit dan neer,
ennek miennit.
Dan willek jou nie mesmeraais
of sonner rede kritisaais.
Ek sèrrit plain en hoep maar dat
van julle maybe note sal vat.
Skryf issie daar net virrie skrander,
dis oekkie reg van allie ander.
Ouens doodgewoon soes ek,
sonner titles, net soes ek.

Soe, die beste manier
omme taal te bewaar is:
Liesit, praattit, skryffit,
ontginnit en bedryffit.
Net soelank jy my verstaan
stap skryf en taal ‘n lang pad saam.

En natuurlik is niks heimwee as dit nie ‘n Theuns Jordaan bevat nie:

Let’s talk language

(No, English is not the new chosen language for my very Afrikaans blog. But in having a debate about language, why not be international.)

I started tutoring a young man yesterday. After a jubilant jump for the money I’ll be making, I had a deep and very ecclesiastes discovery of responsibility. This young man’s schooling probably depends largly on the fact that he needs to pass Afrikaans and English. It did not take very long before I googled just about everything on tutoring tips. I also managed to clean out the children’s books and How To Teach self-help guides from our library.

Upon meeting him, my fears of having some terribly lazy child for a student immediatly disappeared. He could identify his problem areas and we were able to start cramming for his spelling test tomorrow.

Have you ever played hang man out of desperation to establish some cognitive memory thing where a child will reach a perfect state in which he can spell: “ernstige“? I did. I’m adulting. This is exactly the definition of adulting.

Adulting: (verb) Playing hang man with children to establish a memory pattern on how to spell second language Afrikaans words.

Ernstige: (Adjective) The consonant crazy Afrikaans word meaning ‘serious’ or ‘for reals’.

  1. The English boy could not pronounce ernstige. For reals.

Approximatly fifteen minutes before our lesson was over, he handed me a tiny poem of six four-line stanza’s, also in Afrikaans.

“I have to memorise it for tomorrow.” he said defeatedly.

I glanced at the poem. It was horrible. The rhyme was astonishing. It was filled with made up words and re-inforced gender stereotypes. But who am I to criticise our education system.

So here we are.

I am trying to explain what “bedrywig” means by signalling to the ‘b’ which is similar to the ‘b’ in ‘busy’ and motioning some driving action because, to me, ‘bedrywig‘ sounds like having to drive to a million places at once.

Bedrywig: (Adjective) Also a consonant crazy Afrikaans word meaning “to be busy”

  1. I was not bedrywig enough to teach him how to pronounce words and memorise poems simultaneously.

Of course, being the little morality scavenger that I am, I reached a conclusion about the debate on teaching Afrikaans as a second language in schools.

The conclusion being: It’s useless.

No, not the student. The language is useless. I have never met a man who enjoys speaking a language he was forced to learn. Never have I ever encountered someone who can only speak Afrikaans. Therefore Afrikaans, in no way, aids in communication within our country. Ever. Unless you’re in a dutch reformed old age home- perhaps then. But even old people were forced to speak English at a stage (oh look at that- we just discovered the reason behind the Afrikaans Language Panic).

Before we all jump onto our patriotic high horse, let’s reconsider.

Does giving children long and difficult poems to memorise evoke a love for the language? No.

Will a hate for the language establish a necessary communication skill for some political debate concerning gender stereotypes in schools? No.

Will exposure to a language in an engaging and creative way assist in sparking an interested child? Maybe.

Will an interested child choose a secondary language to study? Probably.

So, little Afrikaans man running the school system and forcing your language on people- you’re dooming your own language.

Philip de Vos: Aspoestertjie http://versindaba.co.za/2011/07/10/wanneer-is-ordentlik-nie-meer-ordentlik-nie/