Taalmonument celebrates 35th anniversary

The Afrikaans Language Monument and Museum (the Taalmonument and Taalmuseum) in Paarl are 35 years old this year – but, says director Jack Louw, “We see ourselves as 35 years young.

“Our staff is youthful and dynamic, and we believe that museums shouldn’t be boring, stuffy places – but that education and entertainment can be utilised hand in hand to raise cultural and environmental awareness in an exciting, creative way.”

For travelers, the Taalmonument – on its spectacular site on the Paarl Mountain – offers guided tours (Afrikaans traces it’s origins to the Asian, European and African continents – a fact that’s incorporated into the monument’s symbolism); an indigenous garden with brilliant bird watching; a coffee shop; picnic spots; hiking and mountain biking; and two magnificent amphitheatres (for 400 and 4,000 guests).

The Taalmonument’s stargazing and picnic evenings are always incredibly popular – and now that spring’s finally here, these programme have started up once more.

Here’s a selection of events at the Taalmonument and Taalmuseum during the rest of this year:

  • A new exhibition on early written Afrikaans that includes a transcription of Afrikaans as it was spoken by slaves at the Cape, as well as documents written in Afrikaans – but in Arabic script;
  • Full-moon picnics – beginning September 23;
  • Star-gazing evenings – beginning October 9 (visitors may bring their own baskets, or order in advance from the Volksmond Coffee Shop. This service is also available to tour operators);
  • A course in book repair and paper conservation (October 26 to 28) presented by Johan Maree, who trained at the Centro del Bel Libro in Switzerland, and at the Austrian National Library, and who worked at the University of Cape Town’s Library for 28 years;
  • The Monument Fun Walk (4 and 9.5 km routes) on October 10; and
  • Also on October 10, the Volksmond Coffee Shop’s ‘Fun day for young and old’ – with games like Afrikaans Scrabble, outdoor chess, and boule.

So:

  • Become a fan on Facebook (search ‘Taalmonument en Taalmuseum’);
  • Join the organisation’s mailing list (via its web site);
  • And call Isabeau Botha on 021 872 3441 or go to www.taalmonument.co.za for more about how you can incorporate the Taalmonument and Taalmuseum into your next itinerary of the Winelands.

Oh, and by the way – there’s a wealth of information in the Taalmonument’s latest media releases – which you’ll find in This Tourism Week’s Media Room.