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By Editorial staff


Heritage Day means much more than a braai

We should all be proud of where we came from and allow others to feel the same.

One of the traits common to most South Africans, no matter their colour or creed, is the ability to party, to consume obscene amounts of meat and booze.

No surprise that tomorrow, Heritage Day, has almost morphed into “National Braai Day”. Even though we take a light-hearted look at the braai culture today, which approaches a religion for some South Africans, Heritage Day should give us all pause for thought and reflection.

It is our kaleidoscope of different cultures and heritage which makes this country the vibrant, fascinating – albeit sometimes angry and irrational – place that it is. And, whatever else you may say about this country we call home, you cannot say it is boring.

We would be naïve if we were to raise again the tired old cliché of the “Rainbow Nation”, the phrase coined by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu back in the heady years which followed the end of apartheid – when the world really did seem filled with endless possibilities.

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That was a time when most of us adored Madiba – the man himself and what he represented in terms of the triumph of good over evil. That very time seems as remote as the far corners of our galaxy … our politicians have ensured that race tensions are kept bubbling for their own selfish agendas.

Social media has been a highly efficient vector for poisoned views and will convince you there is little hope.

Heritage Day is a time to take stock of that and remind ourselves that the deification of heritage and culture is what gave us the injustice of apartheid in the first place … and that pushing nationalist or tribal agendas now can bring similar injustice in the future.

We should all be proud of where we came from and allow others to feel the same.

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