SOUTH AFRICA: Heritage Day

SOUTH AFRICA:

Celebrate Heritage Day

Heritage Day is a public holiday in South Africa which is celebrated on 24 September.  South Africans celebrate their culture and the diversity of their traditions and beliefs, in the wider context of a nation which belongs to all its people.

It was on 5 September 2007 when Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrated his appointment as patron of South Africa’s Braai (Barbecue) Day, affirming it to be a unifying force in a divided country.  At the end of 2007 National Braai Day changed its name to Braai4Heritage and the initiative received the endorsement of South Africa’s National Heritage Council (NHC).

Heritage Day South Africa

In KwaZulu-Natal, the 24 September was formerly known as Shaka Day established in commemoration of the legendary Zulu king, King Shaka Zulu.  When the proposed Public Holidays Bill before the New South African Parliament omitted Shaka Day, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a South African political party with a large Zulu membership, objected to the bill.  A compromise was reached when it was decided to create a day where all South Africans could observe and celebrate their diverse cultural heritage.

Heritage Day South Africa

In an address marking Heritage Day in 1996, former President Nelson Mandela stated: “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.” Heritage Day South Africa

 

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