Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Alternative Timelines Part 1: The Dutch

Jan van Riebeeck (1619 - 1677), Dutch colonial...Image via Wikipedia
The Dutch have weird and wonderful connections to South Africa. History being what it is, there's a perceived connection between the Dutch colonisation of the Cape, the language settling here, the adoption of the evolved language by the you-know-what government and the 1976 language-sparked uprising. 

On the evidence of Cape Town during the World Cup, I think those connections are now mostly regarded in the light of "whateva!" Or perhaps we've just relegated those thoughts to the dungeons of history. So...

 ...with tea and cake to our Dutch friends, who play Uruguay tonight in Cape Town...  

VOICE: It is the dawn of time...

Pre-history – Some people without flags...

1487Bartholomeu Dias rounds the Cape of Good Hope and opens the Dias Tavern in Caledon Street. He was Portuguese, so there will be no further mention of him in this article.

1652 Jan van Riebeeck (pictured), coach of the Netherlands football team, arrives early to inspect facilities. JvR opts not to return to The Netherlands, instead establishing Ajax Cape Town as a feeder team to Holland’s most famous club, FC Willem II. Interestingly, the BBC omits this from the timeline of Cape history.

1653 – Scientists (and sailors) found a new species at the Cape of Good Hope: Coloureds.

1666 – The Castle of Good Hope is commissioned. It has five points, which become known for regular fights between local gangs The Dead Rabbits and the Bowery Boys.

1679Simon van der Stel escapes his wife and becomes first Governor of the Cape. Stellenbosch, the famous wine region, is named after him. Need we say more?

UPDATE: Netherlands 3 -2 Uruguay *Hup*

To be continued...

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