HERITAGE, A PRECIOUS INHERITANCE
By: Dhivana Rajgopaul
South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world.
Heritage Month has seen South Africans across the country celebrating their diversity. This year Heritage Month has been the cause of a double celebration. 2014 marks 20 years of a democratic South Africa and
September 2014 will mark 20 years of South Africans commemorating Heritage Day.
Earlier on this month the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, revealed the theme for Heritage Month. The theme was ‘Celebrating 20 years of democracy: Tell your story that moves South Africa forward’.
An article published by South African History Online states that September 24 was not originally slated to be a South African public holiday. However the refusal of the Inkatha Freedom Party, a political party with a largeZulu membership, to sign the Public Holiday’s Bill that was presented to the Parliament of South Africa led to Heritage Day being instituted.
According to the Oxford Dictionary the word heritage means an inheritance. This Heritage Day let us celebrate the democracy that we inherited, but perhaps most importantly lets us celebrate the inheritance of culture and diversity that makes us proudly South African.
Heritage day can be seen as a time in which South Africans can celebrate their culture, diversity, their beliefs and traditions. The things that make us extraordinary and the things that make us standout.
Braai Day is the other name for Heritage Day, in recognition of a South African tradition. Having a braai brings together families and friends to enjoy the time with each other and to embrace one another on the day that celebrates a person’s heritage.