Bonne journée, cher ami – Goeiedag my vriend

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My kulturele / historiese ervaring – Deel 1

Op my lys van 10 doen-dinge voor ek 50 word, het ek geskryf “’n kulturele ervaring en/of ‘n besoek aan ‘n museum of soortgelyke plek” – die tipiese vervelige uitstappie, het ek by myself gedink.  Ek het egter gehoop om ‘n plek te vind wat my sou interesseer en toe manlief ‘n rit na Franschhoek voorstel, het ek presies geweet wat my kulturele/museum uitstappie moet wees!

My nooiensvan, Maree, en my ma se nooiensvan, Lombard, is beide van Franse afkoms. So20160616_123023 die Franse Hugenote Monument en aangrensende museum was die plek om te besoek.  Alhoewel ek al telkemale by die monument was, was hierdie keer anders – ek was op ‘n ander missie:  ek wou gaan kyk watter inligting ek oor die Marees en Lombards kon vind, en ek wou my geheue verfris oor die geskiedenis van die Franse Hugenote.

Ek is geensins van plan om hierdie ‘n geskiedenis les te maak nie, maar ek deel graag ‘n paar interessante feite wat ek teëgekom het:

‘n Bietjie Agtergond

  • Maria de la Quellerie, Jan van Riebeeck se vrou, was die eerste Franse person om voet aan wal te sit in Tafelbaai.
  • Franse Protestante is vervolg vir hulle geloof en het daarom uit Frankryk gevlug.
  • Die Nederlandse Oos-Indiese Kompanjie het ‘n grootskaalse emigrasie program na Kaap die Goeie Hoop gereël. Hulle het meer setlaars nodig gehad om boerdery te ontwikkel en kos te voorsien aan hul verbygaande vloot skepe.Image result for french huguenots in south africa
  • Streng voorwaardes is op die Franse, wat na die Kaapse Kolonie wou emigreer, afgedwing: onder andere is geen bagasie toegelaat nie en die reis was verniet op voorwaarde dat hulle sou bly vir 5 jaar. Indien hulle sou besluit om vroeër huiswaarts te keer, moes hul self die terugreis betaal.
  • Kommandeur Simon van der Stel het ‘n beleid in skole en kerke afgedwing waar net Nederlands toelaatbaar was. Dit het veroorsaak dat die Franse taal binne 2 generasies uitgesterf het.

 Lombard and Maree

  • Die eerste Lombard, Pierre, en sy vrou Marie Couteau het op 6 Januarie 1688, gearriveer as deel van die heel eerste vlugtelinge.
  • Die plase Zondernaam en Watergat is aan Pierre toegeken. Die huidige Bien Donne was deel van die Watergat plaas.
  • Ignace Maré, was nie deel van die oorspronklike Franse Hugenote nie – hy het as wewenaar vanaf Italie in 1706 gearriveer.
  • Ignace het op 3 leenplase geboer voor hy, 8 jaar na sy aankoms, die eienaar geword het van Elsjieskraal “aan de Tygerberg” (wat verwys na die area).
  • Ek het ook geleer dat daar nou ‘n Elsjieskraal straat in Manenberg is.

Simboliek van die Franse Hugenote Monument

  • Die Monument is op 17 April 1948 ingehuldig – 68 jaar gelede!
  • Die vrouefiguur met ‘n Bybel in haar regterhand en gebroke ketting in haar linkerhand, verpersoonlik die gees van godsdiensvryheid.20160616_125101
  • Die Franse lelie op haar kleed verteenwoordig ‘n edele gees en karakter.
  • Die kleed wat sy laat sak, is die kleed van verdrukking wat sy afgooi.
  • Haar posisie bo-op die aardbol verwys na geestelike vryheid .
  • Haar blik is gevestig op ‘n groot visie van gebeurtenisse in die toekoms.
  • Op die aardbol word die mees suidelike punt van Afrika uitgebeeld – die plek waarheen weerlose skepe die Franse Hugenote gebring het.20160616_123553
  • Simbole van haar geloof (Bybel), kuns en kultuur (die harp), landbou en wynbou (koringgerf en wingerdtak) en industrie (spinwiel) word ook op die aardbol uitgebeeld.
  • Die 3 verhewe boë is ‘n simbool van die Heilige Drie-eenheid.
  • Die Son van Geregtigheid skyn bokant die boë, en bo-op dit is die Kruis van die Christelike geloof gemonteer.
  • Die waterpoel reflekteer die kolonade daaragter en weerspieël die ongestoorde gemoedsrus en geestelike vrede wat die Hugenote ervaar het na hul stryd en vele konflik.

 Wat het ek geleer?

‘n Gewone besoek aan Franschhoek het verander in ‘n ontdekkingstog  wat my nuwe waardering gegee het vir my Franse voorouers. Die Franse Hugenote het skokkende omstandighede verduur op weerlose skepe op pad na die Kaapse Kolonie.  Hulle het gearriveer met niks, en tog het hulle hul ontberinge oorkom en vir hulself ‘n nuwe lewe geskep.  Hou in gedagte dat hulle dit wat vir hulle bekend was prys gegee het ter wille van godsdiensvryheid – geestelike vryheid!freedom 1

Geestelike vryheid… Waardeer ek wat ek het?  Wat sal ek bereid wees om op te offer vir geestelike vryheid?  Maak ek die meeste van my geestelike vryheid?

Ek het geleer om iets totaal ontasbaar, en tog so kosbaar, te waardeer!

 

Hierdie besoek het ‘n besoek aan ‘n ander historiese plek geinspireer.  Hou dus hierdie spasie dop vir die volgende kulturele ervaring – deel 2.

 

My cultural / historic experience – Part 1

On my list of 10 things to do before I turn 50, I noted a cultural experience and/or to visit a museum-like place – the ”typical boring outing” I thought.  I was, however, hoping to come up with a place that will fancy my interest and when hubby suggested a trip to Franschhoek I knew exactly what my cultural / museum trip needed to be!

My maiden name, Maree, and my mom’s maiden name, Lombard are both of French origin. So what better place to visit than the French Huguenot Monument and adjacent museum?!  Although I have been to this monument numerous times before, this time was different – I was on a different mission:  I wanted to “go back to my roots” and see what information I could find about the Maree’s and Lombard’s, and refresh my memory about the history of the French Huguenots.

In no way do I plan to make this a history lesson, but I’d like to share a few interesting facts I discovered:

Some background:

  • Maria de la Quellerie, Jan van Riebeeck’s wife, was the first French person to set foot in Table Bay.
  • French Protestants fled from France because of religious persecution.
  • The Dutch East India Company organised a large-scale emigration programme to the Cape of Good Hope. More settlers were needed to develop agriculture in order to provide food supplies for their passing fleets.
  • Strict conditions were imposed on the French who wished to emigrate to The Cape Colony : amongst other, no luggage was allowed and the journey was free on condition that they stay for a minimum of 5 years. Should they decide to return sooner, the expense of the homeward journey was theirs.
  • Commander Simon van der Stel imposed a Dutch only policy in schools and churches which resulted in the French language becoming extinct within 2 generations.

Lombard and Maree

  • The first Lombard, Pierre, and his wife Marie Couteau arrived on 6 January 1688, as part of the early refugees.
  • The farms Zondernaam and Watergat were awarded to Pierre. The current Bien Donne was part of the Watergat farm.
  • Ignace Maré, was not part of the initial French Huguenots – he arrived from Italy in 1706 as a widower.
  • Ignace farmed on 3 loan farms before becoming the owner of Elsjieskraal “aan de Tygerberg” (referring to the area) 8 years after his arrival.
  • I also learned that there is now a Elsjieskraal Road in Manenberg.

Symbolism of the Huguenot Memorial Monument

  • The Monument was inaugurated on 17 April 1948 – 68 years ago!
  • The female figure, with a Bible in her right hand and broken chain in her left, personifies the spirit of religious freedom.
  • The French lilly on her robe represents a noble spirit and character.
  • The cloak hanging off her body is discarding the “cloak of oppression”.
  • Her position on top of the globe shows spiritual freedom.
  • Her gaze is fixed on a majestic vision of coming things.
  • On the earth globe the Southernmost point of Africa is portrayed – the place the frail ships transported the Huguenots to.
  • Symbols of their religion (Bible), art and culture (the harp), the agriculture and viticulture (the sheaf of corn and grape vine) and industry (spinning wheel) are also portrayed on the earth globe.
  • The 3 lofty arches are a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
  • The Sun of Righteousness shines above the arches, and above that the Cross of the Christian faith is mounted.
  • The water pond reflects the colonnade behind it and expresses the undisturbed tranquillity of mind and spiritual peace the Huguenots experienced after much conflict and strife.

What have I learned?

An ordinary visit to Franschhoek turned into an exploring expedition which gave me new appreciation of my French ancestors.  The French Huguenots endured shocking circumstances on the ships en route to The Cape Colony. They arrived here with nothing, and yet they overcame their obstacles and made a living for themselves. Bear in mind they gave up what was familiar to them for the sake of spiritual freedom.

Spiritual freedom…. Do I appreciate what I have?  What would I be prepared to sacrifice for spiritual freedom?  Do I make the most of my spiritual freedom?

I have learned to appreciate something totally intangible, yet so very precious!

 

This visit, however, inspired another historic place I wish to visit.  So keep in touch for the next cultural experience – part 2.

 

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