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What does Heritage Day mean to the Bay?


Heritage day is a holiday unique to our country where all South Africans are encouraged to show off and celebrated the vibrant cultures passed down to them. South Africa is uniquely diverse with its many different ethnicities, races, languages and cultures; and it is for this reason that South Africa was coined as the rainbow nation, to best reflect and describe the multi-culture and multi-racial post-Apartheid dispensation.
The country’s first Heritage day was observed in 1996. Prior to this; September 24th was known as a Shaka Day in honour of the iconic Late King, Shaka Zulu who is still revered and honoured on this day by many who chose to spend the day at his grave in remembrance. Shaka day was excluded before Parliament in the Public Holidays Bill in 1995; and with a spirit of reunion; Heritage day arose as a compromise in order for all cultures to participate in the celebration of the diversity of the country. It is a day that encompasses and includes all citizens of South Africa and their inherited identities both tangible and abstract. The creative expression of food, language, attire and traditions displays our rainbow nation for what it is was always intended to be. Just as an actual rainbow, the rainbow nation ideal is that the many cultures of South Africa-with all their differences- live harmoniously. Complementing each other as a unit, while still allowing each culture to shine in all its rich history and beauty. On this day People are encouraged to dress in their traditional attire and to prepare food indigenous to their heritage.
September 24th is also shared with National Braai day. This is a culture/tradition that all South Africans share whether it is referred to as Chisa Nyama, Ukhosa or simply; Braai. National Braai day is thought to be the equivalent of the Irish St Patricks day and the French Bastille Day when all South Africans are equally encouraged to light fires and prepare meals to partake in one of the few national cultures shared by all citizens. Heritage day remains a symbol of diversity, acceptance, celebration and the wealth that lies in the South African identity.

 September 22, 2017
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