South African Potjie in East Texas attracts hundreds of people during camping Labor Day event

South African Potjie

RUSK, Texas (KTRE) - For years, the South African Potjie in East Texas have invited hundreds of South Africans to come together to celebrate and help preserve their culture.

“That’s why we focus on the family, we have a kids Potjie competition where they learn how to cook, and we’ve got a good prize for them, so it makes it valuable for them to spend the Sunday afternoon cooking instead of playing,” said Anton Van Staden President of the South African Potjie in East Texas.

South African foods are cooked in the Potjie, which is a small cast iron pot prepared outdoors.

Families also have the opportunity to fellowship, play games and shop from South African vendors.

“When you are so far away from home and the people come to a function like this it is wonderful to see their products from their home country and they say oh I haven’t seen this and it’s just that feeling that they, you are giving them something of home and from their childhood,” said Amore Scheepers, Owner of Beef Country Butcher Shop in Port Charlotte, Florida.

The event also displayed how the South African traditions are integrating into the American culture.

“American person likes jerky and they try it and they like the style of jerky. They would pronounce it differently, but they love it. I have quite a number of Americans who work for me and they’ve got an opinion of it and it just shows you how it rubs off on other people,” said Scheepers.

Most importantly, South African Potjie committee members said it is their goal to educate and invite everyone to attend their events and give back to their community.

“It’s open for everybody, just not only South Africans a lot of us are married to the American spouses and kids have been brought up into the American lifestyle. So, we open it up to everybody to show our culture, our culture is just not for ourselves it’s for the world as well,” said Van Staden.

In January, the South African Potjie in East Texas will award scholarships to students with the money raised from the event.

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