Heritage Day falls on September 24. To celebrate, here are five things you can do:
Enjoy a South African inspired meal
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 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. Then, there's also a shisanyama experience you could try or indulge in a bunny chow.
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?
James Tagg, founder and director of the online events platform, Quicket, said since the pandemic, they'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," said Tagg.
Learn more about other cultures through Google
Now, arguably more than ever, we need to take some time to learn about other people and their 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 the 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 many South African collections, stories and online exhibitions from local artists and museums. It’s a fun and interactive way to learn about our 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 its stunning oceans to its mountains and our vast savannahs, South Africa offers vast natural beauty.
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.
Explore to your heart's content
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 are 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 Durban City Hall, the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and the Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site, to name just a few.
Feature Image: Magda Ehlers/Pexels