South Africa is a fascinating country. Commonly referred to as a rainbow nation or melting pot of culture, our beautiful home is vibrant, friendly and, most importantly, full of heritage. Recently, our attention has been drawn to various happenings that make it easy to be proud of our country – such as the incredible voices of the Ndlovu Youth Choir, or the Springboks representing in Japan with the World Cup Rugby, or the #ImStaying movement.
There are many moments when, the deep pride, tenacity, hope and love for our country and it’s people, we are encouraged to unite. Whether it be against adversity like the recent powerful rise of voices against gender-based-violence in our country, or ways of sharing and celebrating our common heritage we all need to speak with one voice with one commitment to a shared future. It’s for this reason that we are sharing here what Heritage Day means to us.
24 September 2019 marked Heritage Day in South Africa. All over the country, people took the day off work to celebrate their heritage, identity and culture. We asked members of the DWC team what Heritage Day means to them:
Unique and beautiful diversity
“I hope that Heritage Day this year will remind us, as South Africans, that our diversity and culture is unique and beautiful. At a time when SA is facing so many challenges, we need to embrace our diversity and work as a powerful unifying force, remembering that our culture and diversity should not divide us, but rather foster our growth towards a stronger nation.”
Celebrating being South African
“Heritage Day is about celebrating being South African, being patriotic and proud. Our home country is so rich in diversity, expressed in our arts, culture, sport, music, theatre, languages, food and so much more. I feel so proud of how far we have come as a nation, our diversity and rich tapestry of people.”
A reflection on identity
“To me, heritage has nothing to do with braais! It is more a reflection of where I come from – the many layers and nuances of my family’s story for generations and how that fits into the complex story of southern Africa. I reflect on how these stories and histories have shaped who I am, and how I can in turn shape myself, my family and wider society in years to come.”
Embrace and build
“First of all, I am a South African. I am from Africa. What I have learned about my heritage is that I need to choose what I embrace and build on, and what I leave behind. Who I am today and what I choose to create, is the heritage I leave behind for my children and their children.“
Culture and tradition
“To me Heritage Day means being in touch with our culture and tradition, recognizing our identity.”
Whether you celebrate Heritage Day with a gathering, or the braai, or sharing stories with your family, we hope that you celebrated with pride!
Let’s keep the banners lifted, the movement moving and conversations happening to seek the change we want to see in our world!