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南非“种族和解日”的由来(通讯员)
[ 2006-12-14 17:10 ]

每年的12月16日是南非政府法定的“种族和解日” (原为纪念祖鲁族人大屠杀的“许愿日”——the Day of the Vow)。这个已经延续了100多年的纪念日曾经有过不同的名字和含义,这与它的来历密切相关。让我们来了解一下这一节日吧!

 

Prior to this the day was celebrated as "The Day of the Vow", a public holiday commemorating the Voortrekker victory at the Battle of Blood River in 1838.
In the spirit of promoting reconciliation and national unity, the day was given a new meaning and was renamed the "Day of Reconciliation" in 1995.

A historical event related

In the early hours of the morning of 16 December 1838, a battle was fought between the Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Pretorius, and the AmaZulu warriors of Dingane near the Ncome River. The AmaZulu suffered heavy fatalities, losing more than 3000 men, while the Voortrekkers purportedly had only three non-fatal injuries. The Ncome River became red with the blood of the slain. Hence the Ncome River became known as "Blood River".

After the defeat of Dingane, the Kingdom of the AmaZulu was hurled into political strife. Mpande, the half-brother of Dingane, taking advantage of the political uncertainty overthrew the latter and seized the leadership of the AmaZulu. Since Mpande was open to the demands for land by the Voortrekkers, Andries Pretorius declared him King of the AmaZulu, and a vassal of the Voortrekker Natal Republic. Large areas of his kingdom were annexed by Natal. While Mpande's vassalage lapsed when the British colonial administration annexed the Natal Republic, the AmaZulu did not regain their land. However, they did undergo a period of stability and economic recovery.

For the greater part of the twentieth century 16 December had been observed as a public holiday, with Afrikaans-speakers attending special church services or visiting the Voortrekker Monument. Until the National Party seized power in 1948, this day was observed as "Dingaan's Day". After 1948 the National Party government set about politicising this day to legitimise their apparent uniqueness and historical relationship with God. Hence in 1952 "Dingaan's Day" officially became the "Day of the Covenant". In 1980 in the face of protracted resistance towards and rebellion against the white minority state by the black majority, the National Party appealed to old racist sentiments in the Afrikaans community and renamed the day the "Day of the Vow".
In 1994 South Africa elected its first non-racial and democratic government. In the spirit of promoting reconciliation and national unity, the day was given a new meaning and was renamed the "Day of Reconciliation" in 1995.

A new meaning and significance had already been accorded this day in the past: on 16 December 1961 the African National Congress launched its military wing, Umkhonto we Siwze, the Spear of the Nation.

Vocabulary:

Reconciliation:和解

Commemorate:纪念

AmaZulu:祖鲁(南非祖鲁人首领)

The Ncome River:恩科姆河

Hence:因此

Politicising:使某事物具有政治性

Legitimise:使某事合法

(通讯员东华大学傅丽莉投稿 英语点津陈蓓编辑)

 
 
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