Founder of Orania dies

Monday, March 21, 2011

A piece of news here in English that has to do with language: the founder of the town of Orania in South Africa has recently passed away. Orania is apparently a pretty interesting place, as it was built to be a town for Afrikaners and Afrikaners only but the founder does not seem to have been a racist, merely something of an isolationist. I speculated last year that Orania might be one of the best places in the world to learn Afrikaans, as the desire of the people there to preserve their Afrikaner culture shows itself in a hostility to English as well:

"We do not want to be governed by people who are not Afrikaners", said Potgieter, the previous chairman. "Our culture is being oppressed and our children are being brainwashed to speak English".
So one would assume that they would welcome anyone of any colour that wishes to spend a month or two or more in the town (the article says "whites-only", but would they truly turn someone away who really wanted to live there for a while to learn Afrikaans?) in order to immerse themselves in Afrikaans. According to the article I link to here the founder of the town was also good friends with the current president of South Africa, who visited the town before, as well as Nelson Mandela. That said, I don't know anything about the town beyond what I've read and so anyone is free to correct me on it.

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