Mouton Men

While we were in South Africa visiting JP's father we went for a walk in a beautiful park, and happened upon this memorial for the Hugenotes.

The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. French Protestants were inspired by the writings of John Calvin in the 1530s, and they were called Huguenots by the 1560s. By the end of the 17th century, roughly 200,000 Huguenots had been driven from France during a series of religious persecutions. They relocated to Protestant nations, such as the Dutch Cape Colony in present-day South Africa.

A large number of people in South Africa are descended from Huguenots. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but have since been quickly absorbed into the Afrikaans population, thanks to sharing a similar religion to the Dutch colonists, and there are now many Afrikaners with French surnames given Afrikaans pronunciation. Many of them settled in Franschhoek ("French Corner") near Cape Town. The wine industry in South Africa was greatly influenced by the Huguenots.

It seemed fitting that we came across this on the walk altogether. We took some photos to capture the moment (even though we only had cellphones) I was so glad I got a chance to learn more about JP, his family, and South Africa while spending quality time his father.


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