What is Heritage Day?

. September 24, 2014 . 3 Comments

by Lincoln Barnabas

Heritage Day is a national holiday in South Africa. Its purpose is to celebrate our cultural heritage and to embrace the cultural heritage of other groups in South Africa.  All these groups form the South African rainbow nation.




Heritage includes all that which we inherit. This ranges from things that are concrete (tangible), national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, literature, museum collections together with their documentation, and food.  Then, there are also the abstract things such as language, culture, and religion.



Why is Heritage day important?

The celebration is of Heritage day is also a powerful agent for fostering reconciliation among South Africans.  As such, “Our heritage has the potential to affirm our diverse cultures and in so doing shape our national character as a “rainbow nation” at peace with itself. In short our heritage celebrates our achievements and contributes to redressing past inequities. It educates, it deepens our understanding of society while at the same time it encourages us to empathise with the experience of others. For a nation that has just been through apartheid, which had been declared a crime against humanity by the United Nations, the significance of heritage day cannot be overemphasised in that it facilitates healing.”(Phatlane, 2012).


*Editor’s Note: What does Heritage Day and your heritage mean to you? Add a comment!*

Category: Archived ECHO 1, Uncategorized

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