As South Africans, we are lucky to live in a truly rainbow nation. This term for our country’s multicultural diversity was coined by the former Archbishop, Desmond Tutu.
Heritage Day occurs on the 24th of September each year, and gives us an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our heritage, our history, our beautiful land, and what it means to be a South African.
The traditions and practices which have been passed down to you from your parents, family, community, and place where you were raised make up your heritage. We also share a national heritage as we were born not only on the African continent, but in South Africa.
South Africa’s natural heritage is found in our scenic landscapes and natural resources. Our cultural heritage is exhibited by the creativity of people – anything that has historical, artistic or scientific value – such as monuments and sculptures.
Heritage Day was first observed in 1996 as a celebration to the newly formed democracy. Nelson Mandela shared, “When our first democratically elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”
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