One of the many great things about living in South Africa is that we are such a wonderfully diverse nation. This means that we have so many cultures, traditions and heritages to celebrate, and so many different ways to do so!
Heritage Day on September 24 offers us all a unique opportunity to take some time out to learn more about what’s important to our fellow South Africans. Here are five different ways to do just that.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to celebrate different cultures is through food. With such a vast array of cultures, traditions and beliefs, every family has its own food heritage and associated customs. However, something that remains the same no matter no matter our race, colour or creed, South Africans do love a braai! Not only is it a great culinary experience, but also an excellent way to bring people together.
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront certainly believes this, and its chefs are already busy prepping for what promises to be an extra special 2020 Heritage Day this year. Much like our lovely Rainbow Nation, the Heritage Day menu comprises a variety of different dishes and flavours with each, quite literally, bringing something unique to the table. To book or for more information: 021 441 3000 or [email protected].
Attend an event – virtually or in person if the group is small
With online events currently enjoying their halcyon days and smaller events opening up as lockdown regulations ease, why not use your day off to get your social fix?
“Thanks to 2020 being the mother of invention and innovation, we’ve seen a number of creative options come through for Heritage Day this year. For example, you can take in your natural heritage with a beautiful rustic hike and braai, share a boerie roll and chakalaka on a five-star yacht cruise with friends, or tell stories around a potjie in the Winelands. Online, you can ruminate on culture as part of a heritage conversation series, or sit back and enjoy a foot-tapping Maskandi concert,” says James Tagg, founder and director of the online events platform, Quicket.
Of course, if you have a particular cultural cause that’s close to your heart, you can always celebrate Heritage Day by using the site to pay it forward by creating your own fundraiser.
Learn more about other cultures through Google
Now, arguably more than ever, it’s important for us to take some time to learn about other people and cultures in a way that boosts our mutual understanding. If you can’t make it out and about for Heritage Day, you can learn about history and other cultures, art and traditions with Google Arts & Culture.
According to Google, Google Arts & Culture “is an online platform through which the public can view high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural artefacts from partner cultural organisations throughout the world”. There are a number of South African collections, stories and online exhibitions from local artists and museums. It’s a fun and interactive way to learn about our own history and other cultures from the comfort of home.
Enjoy our natural beauty
There is no denying that part of South Africa’s heritage is our abundant natural beauty. From our stunning oceans, to our mountains and our vast savannahs, our country serves up natural beauty in spades! Take some time out this Heritage Day to celebrate what South Africa has to offer in this regard. Go for a hike, enjoy a day at the beach if the weather allows, or even go on safari. For the latter, if you’re in the Kruger National Park, take the opportunity to learn about the heritage of the various areas there, such as the Kruger Station.
The Kruger Station was built in the 1980s to house the heritage train currently parked in the Kruger camp Skukuza. The new Kruger Station precinct marks the rebirth and modernisation of this iconic station, adding value with a restaurant (which combines family dining, bar and a deli), a 360-degree theatre, children’s play area and a retail section.
There are many places of cultural and traditional significance all over South Africa. If you’re in Cape Town, a simple search on Cape Town Tourism’s website will bring up a host of recommendations, such as where to find different museums all around the city, neighbourhoods that hold great heritage significance, where to indulge in food from different cultures – and more. If you’re in Jo’burg, there’s tons to do here too.
An exploration of some of the heritage sites such as Constitution Hill, the Hector Pietersen Memorial Museum, Mandela House, The Cradle of Humankind, the Apartheid Museum and others will certainly be a productive and enlightening use of your time this Heritage Day. Durban and its surrounding areas also have many cultural sites worth exploring or learning about this Heritage Day. These include eThekwini (Durban) City Hall, the Nelson Mandela Capture Site near Howick and the Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site, to name just a few.