Volunteers Experience Heritage Day
Here in South Africa there is a special day of celebration on the 24th Sept. It’s Heritage Day. South Africa, “The Rainbow Nation”, is known for having a rich diversity of heritages and traditions. On Heritage Day it’s a chance for each culture to celebrate their own traditions.
It’s a National Holiday but schools celebrate Heritage Day on the previous day. Our volunteers had a chance to be a part of the Heritage Day traditions at ACJ Primary School. It was a great experience for all. As one volunteer put it, “It was great to see everyone together all as a community.”
It was amazing to see all the traditional dress. The Principal took the time to come and talk to us and explain which cultures the various dress came from for example the Xhosa children had a certain style of skirt and the children with a Zulu heritage had colourful necklaces. I hadn’t realised prior to this event how many of te children had a Lesothu Heritage. These were the children wearing the traditional Basotho blanket. As we looked across the field and saw the staff and children in their traditional dress it was certainly a colourful sight. It also made me realise what a range of heritage is within the school.
We experienced the choir singing and dancing as well as a range of dances from various cultures. “I found it amazing to see how enthusiastic the children were about their dancing” was a comment from one of our volunteers. It was also great that the children were so keen to talk about their traditions with the volunteers. It was done with a lot of pride.
It wasn’t only the children performing but the staff as well. From teachers to office staff to the dinner ladies, everyone was keen to join in and share their culture. The celebrations ended with the amazing singing and dancing of the Women on the staff.
As staff members we never tire of these amazing experiences and it was great the the volunteers enjoyed the day so much. The volunteers especially remarked on how proud everyone seems of their heritage and how enthusiastic they were about sharing it.
It was a fantastic experience for all.
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