Dr Dirk Hermann, chief executive Solidarity
“We stand here before the Holy God of heaven and earth, to make a vow to Him that, if He will protect us and give our enemy into our hand, we shall keep this day and date every year as a day of thanksgiving like a sabbath, and that we shall build a house to His honour wherever it shall please Him, and that we will also tell our children…”
There are three important elements to the Vow: The first is a day of thanksgiving, the second that a house be built to His honour and the third that “we will also tell our children…”
But do we still tell our children, or do we allow others to tell our children? Do we tell our story to our children, or do we allow a clown like Malema to criminalise our history?
We cannot trust the state to tell this to our children in the schools. Their narrative serves a specific master narrative that serves the majority.
History is not treated as an objective science but is used to put Afrikaners permanently in a position of guilt. History becomes the political instrument of the “conquerors” and our children become the victims thereof.
There is a reason why the Vow wants us to tell our children. It teaches them that they have a place in the great gallery that is history. History provides the link between generations. It conveys values and ideas in a covenantal way from generation to generation. If not told, this tradition of hundreds of years of passing it on is cut. Children become undetached, floating individuals without anchor.
Every year on 16 December Afrikaners are again reminded to tell the story. However, the story dare not stop there. Each of us must tell this story to our children. Grandparents need to tell their own stories and that of their grandfathers and grandmothers to their grandchildren. They should be that link. Generations dare not stop telling it.
To tell stories could be this holiday’s holiday project. For grandmother and grandfather their life is recent; for the grandchildren it already belongs to the past.
The only way we are going to refute the version of our history the state and Malema propagate is to tell our own stories to our children.
Do attend your nearest commemoration of the Vow. Listen to the command of the Vow to tell, and go home and keep on telling it.