Heritage Day has always been a difficult holiday to quantify in South Africa. With so many exquisite cultures and traditions it’s hard to differentiate a universal national identity. We want to show off our own heritage. We want to celebrate our ancestry. We want to be proud South Africans. The question is how do we find balance?
Last year the colloquial name for Heritage Day, used by many young South Africans, i.e. National Braai Day, sparked outrage from all over the country. To tell the truth, it’s not a bad thing, righteous anger regarding a demand for change and equality is a part of our heritage. To ensure that our heritage is not stepped on and thrown into the dirt we have to get angry and take action to preserve our culture! The problem with inherited anger is that it can be easily misdirected. Anger, just as with many emotions, is visceral and explosive. We need to get it out, but more importantly we need to channel our anger into positive action and take steps that ensure that our way of life is passed on to the next generation.
This year, for heritage day, why don’t we as South Africans channel our own emotions into positive change, by using our passion to teach those around us about our own culture? Don’t ram ideals and dress down someone else’s throat. Teach someone, within reach, the very foundation of your heritage. You may ask, what is the foundation? Well, what is the first thing you learn as a child? It’s not the celebrations and rituals; our entire foundation is our language. Before we can even walk we start to learn a language that gives us identity, our culture, and eventually becomes the keystone of our heritage.
So this Heritage Day, utilise your passion and teach someone a bit of your language. Why don’t we all just start with a simple “Hello!” and take one step closer to achieving a united South Africa.
P.S. To greet an elderly Indian person with respect, you should cross your palms together in front of your chest with fingers pointed upwards and use the Tamil word ‘Namasakaram” which means I greet and respect the divine within you.
*Bangula is equipped to deal with all South African and International language requirements. Contact us for professional language and translation services.