Celebrating our Heritage
Heritage Day was celebrated on 24 September giving everyone an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate South African cultures and religious beliefs. Our heritage is significant and meaningful as it is our inheritance from previous generations.
In the past, heritage comprised mainly structures such as monuments and sites. However, this concept has gradually evolved, and heritage can be represented through practices and traditions in contemporary times. Maintaining the active existence of a heritage encourages local communities to engage in social issues and empowers them. In addition to educating people about the importance of their heritage, Heritage Day can help them respect and appreciate the heritage of others.
In the age of information, people are becoming more curious about how cultures are integrated into everyday life, the tales that are told, and how those practices are preserved to sustain a community. Maintaining our indigenous cultures and religions can ensure they evolve according to needs while contributing to future restoration. By doing so, the evolutionary state of our heritage allows for the accumulation and sharing of beautiful stories and shaping of values as well as the continuation of fostering community spirit.
Embracing and preserving our heritage helps our society grow as we learn to respect differences. Heritage plays a significant role in defining identity and encouraging continuities in culture and tradition in communities across the country. As part of our efforts to rehabilitate the nation, we celebrate this day with the aim of creating a new society moving towards cultural harmony.
We, at UKZN Extended Learning, hope all our fellow South Africans enjoyed a happy Heritage Day!
Words: Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
Photograph: Adobe Stock Image