Zen for body and mind between granite and wild olives
Writer and yogi celebrate Taalmonument’s 45th festival with focus on the inner self
The iconic Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument’s 45th festival year reaches a creative Zen-like highlight on 29 February 2020 when well-known wordsmith Diana Ferrus and green-finger yogi Lizet Mulder team up to have everyone experience the meaning of ‘Grounded in Africa’ (‘Rotsvas in Afrika’) through words, poetry and guided stretches. ‘Green and Serene’ takes place in the Groen Galery, the outdoor gallery between the beautiful granite boulders and old wild olives, and promises to be a unique experience.
According to the coaches this event, which is part of the Taalmonument’s weekend-long celebrations, is a chance “to write, listen and recall our bodies’ memories during this festival for a language of many shapes, colours and scents”. Ferrus is an award-winning writer, storyteller and founding member of the Afrikaanse Skrywersvereniging. She is best known for her 1998 poem about Saartjie Baartman, which eventually led to the repatriation of her body from France to South Africa. Her third book, ‘Die vrede kom later’, was published last year. Mulder is an experienced Paarl yoga teacher (she has undergone training in India and Thailand, among others) with a background in landscape architecture. She brings together her love for people, stories, and the environment by hosting outdoor yoga classes where participants can exchange stories and play together to reach an inner calm.
The activity starts at 10:00 and lasts until 11:30, but participants are free to take a break at any time. Participation is open to anyone with a day ticket for the day of music, stories, children’s entertainment and a market on the stunning Paarl Mountain. There is also a fun walk, yoga, jazz and poetry class to ensure everyone enjoys celebrating one of Africa’s youngest languages. The multilingual, multicultural program with amongst others Jak de Priester, Lungi, Jaloersbokkies and V.I.T.O will showcase Afrikaans in all its beautiful forms, reminding speakers and non-speakers of the unique, welcoming spirit of this plucky language.
Day tickets cost R80 for adults and R40 for children under 13 – this includes all activities and performances from 10am. It is available for purchase at the Taalmonument on Paarl Mountain, at the Taalmuseum in Paarl (021 872 3441/863 0543) and online via Computicket (www.computicket.co.za). Unfortunately, no own food or drink is allowed. For details on the 2020 festival program, see www.taalmuseum.co.za/festival-programme-1975-2020/
Saturday’s festival day follows on Friday night’s, the 28th, rock-tronic music of Akkedis Band – Afrikaans rock with a strong blend of African, reggae and blues influences – as well as Die Heuwels Fantasties’ futuristic electronics intertwined with subtle guitar elements and intelligent lyrics. Beverages and food stalls available; remember warm clothes and blankets.
The Taalmonument manages, among other things, a literacy project, ‘adopted’ a school in honour of Nelson Mandela and sponsors free transport to the monument. By simply attending the festival events, guests support the outreach programmes, so a big ‘Baie dankie!’ in advance. Guests are also encouraged to donate a new or second hand children’s book to the Visitor Centre in support of the ‘Let’s Read!’ project.
For more information on all the other events, apart from the 2020 celebrations, at the Taalmonument, call 021 863 0543/4809, visit www.taalmonument.co.za or follow them on Facebook. Annual permits are available at R120 for individuals or R220 per family, which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics.