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Heritage of the Rainbow Nation

This Sunday, 24th September, we South Africans celebrate our National Heritage Day… so get together with friends and family, slap some boerewors on the braai, eat, drink and be merry. Even better, sleep in on Monday, since we (some of us) have the day off from work.

Heritage Day is a time to celebrate our country. All the things that unite us and all of our differences – the Rainbow Nation.

I starting doing some research and found out that Heritage Day was initiated in 1995, after the first free elections. Originally, the 24th September was a Zulu holiday held to commemorate King Shaka, a great chief who united the Zulu tribes. In 1995, when a bill was being passed by the South African parliament to establish the country’s official public holidays, the Zulu people objected that Shaka Day was left off the list. A compromise incorporated the date, but it was renamed “Heritage Day” and endeavored to include a celebration of all South African people.

According to the website, publicholidays.com, “The official government definition of the ‘heritage’ in ‘Heritage Day’ counts it to include all that the people inherit, such as culture, history, wildlife, monuments, artwork, literature, music, folklore, languages, culinary traditions, and more.”

In 1996, president Nelson Mandela declared that: “When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”

On the website, thesouthafrican.com, they list six events that take place across four continents, that South Africans abroad can attend, to celebrate our day:

  • In Melbourne, Australia, there is a Bring and Braai. According to the event information people must, “bring their own beer and braai-making materials.”
  • In Accra, Ghana, there is a Family Braai Day. According to the event information, there will be “braaiing”, jumping castles and “beers aplenty”.
  • In Paris, France, there is a Heritage Day Social.
  • In London, United Kingdom, there is a Heritage Day Bring and Braai. According to the event information this is the largest of all the events and hundreds of South Africans celebrate at Wimbledon. The event is sponsored by Showmax and there is a lot of food (especially boerewors) and many craft stalls.
  • In Hong Kong, there is a SaffaFestHK2017. According to event information, Suzelle DIY will be attending their event. There will be a “potjie” cook-off and a variety of other South African food.

If you need an excuse to celebrate or if you just want a laugh, Read: Heritage Day – 24 things for South Africans to be patriotic about
Cheers Everyone and …

Mrs Lara-Ann Koch
Deputy Principal of the High School