Here comes Heritage Day South Africa!

Heritage Day 2014

Here comes Heritage Day South Africa!

For so many, heritage day is publicised as a holiday that is spent having a braai and chilling with the family, but do we know the roots of this day and the reason it came into existence…Well if you do then HoofsUp to you but if you don’t, we thought we would take some time out of our busy schedules and pay some attention to detail to one of our South African holidays that is just around the corner.

In KwaZulu Natal, the 24th of September was traditionally known as “Shaka Day” and this was known as a day of commemoration for the Zulu King, King Shaka Zulu. When Shaka Day was omitted, the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party), a South African political party, was unhappy about this decision and made their unhappiness known. This was when a compromise was reached and it was decided that the 24th of September would be a day where all South Africans could observe and celebrate their diversity and embrace their cultural heritage.

The late former president Mr. Nelson Mandela put it succinctly in 1996 when he said:

“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.”

These words hold such honesty and such pride in the vision for our country. It is this very vision and strength in words that we as South Africans should take responsibility for the unity of our nation this Heritage Day. In remembering his wisdom and his strength, let’s choose to celebrate each day forth with a sense of harmony and humility toward our fellow South Africans.

Now the idea about celebrating this day with a bikkie braaivleis was just the means to the celebration. The idea of celebrating this national holiday by having a braai has cultural value in it and can be equated to the art of having a braai as South Africans. No matter where you go, whether in the world or nationally, as South Africans we share in this tradition. We love to braai! Now celebrating in ‘braai’ does not mean that we have forgotten the meaning of savouring our heritage, it merely means that we have chosen to celebrate being South African. With all our differences we can still stand together and celebrate over light conversation, loud laughs and a great chow!

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was quoted a few years ago saying in an interview: “We’re going to have this wonderful thing on the 24th of this month … when we all gather round one fire…It’s a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam [this thing we do together] … just South Africans doing one thing together, and recognizing that we are a fantastic nation.”

Thanks to leaders like this, we can just be real and celebrate in the simplest of ways, because sometimes it’s the smallest things that count! Happy Heritage Day to you all from everyone at the GoRhino team!

Thanks to the Mail and Guardian online for the information.

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