Embracing the Richness of Our Roots

21st September 2023

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Ayanda Radebe

Heritage Day, previously known as Shaka Day, is celebrated on the 24th of September each year and recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of our nation. On this day, we celebrate and honour the diverse cultural heritage within our nation. This is the time to reflect on our collective history, embrace our differences and further foster unity.

South Africa is extensively known for its diverse heritage and the various cultures that make up its population. Heritage Day gives us a chance to appreciate the immense cultural wealth of our nation, and South Africans are highly encouraged to celebrate the day by honouring the heritage of the many cultures that make up our nation.

On this day, people proudly showcase their heritage through traditional clothing, music, dance and food. This celebration promotes cultural understanding and encourages dialogue and respect among different communities.

Heritage Day in South Africa has become a symbol of a braai, a traditional South African barbecue. This social activity brings people together regardless of their cultural backgrounds, where they share food and engage in conversations, fostering a sense of community unification and inclusivity.

While Heritage Day is celebrated in various ways across the country, from vibrant street festivals to cultural performances and art exhibitions with storytelling sessions, this intensely highlights the richness of our heritage collectively and reinforces the importance of acknowledging the day as it brings people together and further helps them learn about our diverse cultures. Heritage Day is a time to celebrate the diversity that makes us a unique nation. It is a day to honour our history, embrace our differences and, most importantly, foster unity amongst all South Africans. By embracing the day, we can build a more peaceful society for future generations.