Commentary on The Native Races of South Africa
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
QUOTE: From this description, the people alluded to would appear to have belonged to one of the Portuguese settlements, and the articles named were such as the Portuguese might have introduced from India.
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The use of the word India does create a lot of problems nowadays. When this word was used in this book, it must have been intended to mean a place inside a geographical location – the South Asian Subcontinent. However, as of now, this word simply creates confusion. For, there is indeed a new nation called India, which is very cunningly trying to grab all the antiquities that come with the word ‘India’. The word ‘India’ is itself not a native word in the subcontinent. May be it must have been used by various maritime merchants to mean a location. However, it was the Continental Europeans who went around trying to create a well-defined location to connect to the word ‘India’. As a historical fact, they did create four different ‘Indias’, I think.
If this word India is not there in the local epics (puranas), Vedic literature dating back some more than four thousand years (not exactly connected to the current-day peoples of India, Pakistan or Bangladesh), histories of the Mogul kings, and various other kingdoms of the location, then what is the other word that was used locally to mean the whole of the subcontinent?
Well, even though the current-day jingoistic historians of India would be ready to produce a few words that they would claim did define the whole of the subcontinent, it might be true that there was no such national feeling that connected the whole of the Subcontinent as one nation or population. It is indeed true that the peoples were different from each other, not only between the different locations, but also amongst the different population groups, right inside each minor kingdom inside the subcontinent. It was the handiwork of the English East India Company that created a single nation feeling in around half of the subcontinent and beyond.
QUOTE: during the whole time continually pronouncing, or rather singing, the following words, Hei pruah pr'hari'ka, 'hei fruah fhei, 'hei pruah 'ha. Of the words they did not know the meaning, but said that some of their tribe, together with the game, had learnt them from the tribes a great way to the north."
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I have personally seen and taken part in interior village games (in South Asia) similar to these games, in which the words recited, would have verbal meanings, but would not have any great sensible meanings for the whole sentence.
Notes: Since writing the above, Miss Lucy C. Lloyd has given the following description of a game of skill played by the Bushmen living to the north-east of Damaraland : " It is played with a kind of shuttlecock, i.e. with a short stick with two or three feathers tied to its upper end, and weighted at its lower extremity by a berry or a button attached to it. This is thrown into the air, and beaten with another stick, to keep it up, time after time, much as a shuttlecock should be kept up (in the game of battledore and shuttlecock)." Miss Lloyd's Bushman authorities assured her that this is one of the old games played by members of their tribe in their own land. This discovery is an interesting one, as tending to prove that this popular game of English children is probably one (by being thus known to so primitive a race as the Bushmen) of high antiquity.
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It is a very curious instance. In my schooldays (in South Asia), the teachers and certain others used to make categorical mentions that the English game of Cricket was actually a modernisation of a game using sticks which was played in the villages hereabout. However, the wider information that the great attraction of Cricket is a set of rules and etiquettes of behaviour that makes it a Gentlemen’s game. Off course, there is the other unmentionable attraction that playing this game would immediately connect the players to Englishmen in a mental ambience.
England was off course insane to continue to play this game with the low class nations of the Commonwealth, who are generally teaching their citizens that England was a very bad nation. In India, people are very wary of playing with or getting connected to persons of questionable or dubious, or low social standards, even if they come dressed in finery and pretended refinement. The issue of ‘pretension’ is a very active one in feudal languages. Persons can don different stances in an artificial manner. However this facade gets erased the moment the requirement for the pretence vanishes.
QUOTE: Although since 1813 the whole of them have adopted the appellation of Griqua, a large majority of them were not only descendants of the Hottentot tribe we have mentioned but of the Dutch colonists also.
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QUOTE: many old cattle enclosures built of stone, some parts as neatly done as if they had been erected by European workmen.
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The above statement is full of technical errors. What European workmen can accomplish, the native-English workmen can do with equal or better acumen. And the Asian and African workers also can do the same, if the same tools are given and they are trained to work in an equivalent social ambience. However, handing over great tools and weapons to barbarian populations is dangerous for the animals and human beings who come under their control. That is what native-English nations should have been careful about. They were not careful. And now, both human beings as well as animals suffer under barbarian people all over the world.
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