July 6 marks the anniversary of a major event in Deitsch history, and, as such I'd like to hail the Netherlands Dutch and their forebears and ancestors.
On this date in 1683, the first ship, the Concord departed from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. On this ship the first "official" settlers who would begin the story of the Pennsylvania Dutch nation.
|The flag of the Netherlands|
Thus, on this date (it is July 6 in Rotterdam now), the Great Migration of the Germans to Pennsylvania began.
We Pennsylvania Dutch are ultimately mostly Germans speaking a German dialect and bringing together customs from many German lands. We have evolved as a unique "tribe" or "nation." The moniker of "Pennsylvania Dutch" confuses many people, and much of that confusion is due to a change of the meaning of the word "Dutch" in English, which once had a wider meaning than it does today.
Additionally, we call ourselves "Deitsch," which sounds a bit like "Dutch," and, as was the case with the Concord, many of our early forebears arrived on ships that departed Europe from ports in the Netherlands. The Concord's departure was an indelible moment in the settlers lives that lives on in the presence of the ship on the Deitsch flag today.
Our migration included many people from the Netherlands as well. Although the first arrivals on the Concord were German speakers from Krefeld, some of their surnames were decidedly Dutch.
In many ways, your ancestors were heroes. They got my ancestors out of the wreckage that was the Palatinate after all of the ravaging wars. So, on behalf of my ancestors who I know traveled through Rotterdam, I thank the forebears and the Dutch of the current era.
The Dutch and the Pennsylvania Dutch, though we have separate identities, share strong historical and cultural bonds that are only increasing as the gods and goddesses bring us closer together.
Hail to Holle!
Hail to Nehalennia!
Hail to the Netherlands and to the Dutch people!
May your light always shine brightly!