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On restoring culture and celebrating our heritage

Heritage Day has rolled around again, and with it, consent to wear “traditional clothing” to the office. But do young people neglect their background and heritage every other day of the year? Kwazi Dlamini spoke to a few young people from Durban on the topic of restoring heritage during September. 

sizwe-maphumuloSizwe Maphumulo, 27, Store manager, Bhamshela
[dropcap]”I[/dropcap]t is a good thing to try to bring back our heritage and culture but I think because of its importance, one month of revival is not good enough. Heritage of a country is what makes it unique from other countries, if we start doing things the American way and forget our heritage then how are we going to show tourists who bring a lot of money to see our ways of doing things? I am a very cultural person because I was brought up from a very cultural home and I know a lot about my heritage and the Zulu culture. When I’m at home I still do traditional dance. Every black African person has culture but people choose whether they want to follow it or go the other way.

sthobile-mchunuSthobile Mchunu, 24, waitress, Phoenix
[dropcap]”[/dropcap]Our heritage will always be within us but times change and ways of doing things also change so people cannot still hold on to the past while there are better and easier ways of doing things now. I’m not saying restoring our culture is bad but we must take things from our culture and try to mix them with how things are done today so we can survive today. For example, people from back then did not have phones and applications like Whatsapp but now to have an easier communication you need those things. You cannot send letters but it is good to remind us where we come from. I don’t practise culture and I must admit the new technology and the society today made me distance myself from my heritage but I’m doing fine so I see no problem.

phumzile-gemaPhumzile Gema, 23, student, Pietermaritzburg
[dropcap]”[/dropcap]Heritage is key for every successful country. Everyone from the outside is always curious about the heritage of other country and since we have such a rich heritage we must know it, be proud of it and be ready to share it with others from outside. People move to the cities and when they get there, they are forced to abandon their cultural activities because of the laws. It is difficult to slaughter a cow in Umhlanga for cultural activities because most people there don’t understand that it is culture and has been done for thousands of years so people are forced to stop doing it. I think the government must tell people about the importance of heritage and culture so that it can be restored.

zimbini-dlaminiZimbini Dlamini, 20, pupil, Umlazi
[dropcap]”[/dropcap]Some young people still practise culture and know their heritage but you will find most of those who still do in the rural areas. Culture does not only teach you about your background but also shows you a better way of life. The sad thing about this month is that we only see particular cultures being celebrated or others don’t get shown on TV, but South Africa is a very diverse country. This month should be the right time to showcase that, the government still has a lot to do in order to achieve that. I partly practise culture when my family performs a ritual because I’m not well informed about my culture as I should be.

Featured image via Flickr.

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