Fwd: South Afr. Parliament motto in /Xam language

Don Osborn dzo at bisharat.net
Sun Apr 22 20:44:02 UTC 2007


--- In AfricanLanguages at yahoogroups.com, "Don Osborn" <dzo at ...> wrote:

The South African Parliament adopted a new coat of arms with the motto
in the now extinct Khoisan language of /Xam. The full article can be
read at http://allafrica.com/stories/200704060666.html . An excerpt
from the address on the unveiling of the coat of arms (which is in the
article and also at
http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mbeki/2000/tm0427.html ) follows:

"The motto of our new Coat of Arms, written in the Khoisan language of
the /Xam people, means: diverse people unite or people who are
different join together. We have chosen an ancient language of our
people. This language is now extinct as no one lives who speaks it as
his or her mother-tongue.

"This emphasises the tragedy of the millions of human beings who,
through the ages, have perished and even ceased to exist as peoples,
because of peoples' inhumanity to others. It also says that we,
ourselves, can never be fully human if any people is wiped off the
face of the earth, because each one of us is a particle of the
complete whole.

"By inscribing these words on our Coat of Arms - !ke e: /xarra //ke -
we make a commitment to value life, to respect all languages and
cultures and to oppose racism, sexism, chauvinism and genocide. Thus
do we pledge to respect the obligation which human evolution has
imposed on us - to honour the fact that in this country that we have
inherited together is to be found one of the birthplaces of humanity

"Here in the language of our ancient past, we speak to present
generations and those who are still to come about the importance of
human solidarity and unity. We say that in the heart of every
individual resides an inner necessity, an essential humanity that
compels each person, each people, to unite with another. This impulse
and this conscious action makes us who we are and tells us where we as
a South African people want to go...


--- End forwarded message ---

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