Long tradition of moving around and away


I am part of a long tradition of people who packed up their belongings to seek salvation elsewhere, and in the process, in some cases, changing their names and learning to speak another language.

There was the migration from Europe to Southern Africa in the 1600s and 1700s, a slow drift eastwards from the Cape in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Great Trek into the interior of South Africa in the 1830s, yet another migration out of Natal back to the interior, my family’s repeated up-and-move 150 years later, and finally my own personal migration to Northeast Asia in the late 1990s.

To add some colour to the thought, a few illustrations:

Europeans arriving at the Cape in the mid to late 1600s
Trekboers – early nineteenth century
Trek over mountains and through rivers
Trek over the plains
A few months after moving – modern ox-wagon in the background (1981)
Migration to Northeast Asia in the late 1990s – Kaohsiung from the air