Celebrating Heritage Day!!!
Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa.
Living heritage is the foundation of all communities and an essential source of identity and continuity. Aspects of living heritage include: cultural tradition, oral history, performance, ritual, popular memory, skills and techniques, indigenous knowledge system and the holistic approach to nature, society and social relationships.
In South Africa the term “intangible cultural heritage” is used interchangeably with the term “living heritage”. Living heritage plays an important role in promoting cultural diversity, social cohesion, reconciliation, peace and economic development. In every community there are living human treasures who possess a high degree of knowledge, skills and history pertaining to different aspects of diverse living heritage.
It is therefore important for South Africans to reclaim, restore and preserve these various aspects of living heritage to accelerate the use of living heritage to address challenges communities are facing today.
As we celebrate this day tomorrow let us remember those are infected and/or affected by COVID-19. Let us remember those who lost their lives during this pandemic. Let us continue to celebrate all the efforts and sacrifices made by front line workers.
As we hold conversations around social cohesion; Ubuntu; economic development; et al, let us talk about the curbing of Gender Based Violence; alleged COVID-19 looting; corruption and so on. Let us have open and honest conversations around racial and other social injustices that are still faced today.
Let us reflect on this year’s Heritage Day by remembering where we come from and the type of South Africa we want for future generations. The non sexist; non racial and progressive South Africa which belongs to those who live in it.
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Until next week Tuesday, bye-bye for now.
Tshepo Ishmael Phetoane