Celebrate the people’s voice on Heritage Day

Heritage Day has to a large extent become synonymous with the smells and sounds of friends and family gathering around the braai. Even more so in a month when rugby fans are rooting for the Springboks in the World Cup. And while a good braai is only one part of South Africa’s rich and diverse culture(s), in certain ways it does resemble who the people are as a nation.

  • We’re not afraid of the heat: One of the words that probably best describes South Africans is “resilient”. We don’t back down when things get tough – we persevere (on and off the World Cup field), we innovate, we collaborate, we brainstorm, we adapt. (Sometimes, however, we do throw some extra wood onto the fire 😊)
  • We’ve learnt (and are still learning) to embrace our differences: Whether you prefer a juicy steak or a vegan sausage, a triple-cheese braaibroodjie or a green salad, anything goes at a braai – the only commonality is for everyone to have a good time. Similarly, we may have a kaleidoscope of languages, foods, religions and styles, but when our national sports teams run onto the field or a whole community is in devastating need of basic resources and support, we come together as a powerful force.  
  • We all play our part: One of the beauties of a braai is that almost anyone can host one, because everyone brings their own meat, drinks and even side dishes – there’s no need to invest in an expensive dinner party. The important thing is spending time together. Essentially, it’s a reflection of the spirit of ubuntu, where everyone accepts one another for who they are and contributes however much or little they can – all for the collective good.  
  • We have a unique voice: While some braais are certainly noisier than others, good music is a key component of a good braai. Just as you’ll most likely hear the music and the buzz of voices before you reach the braai area, South Africans have an unmistakable voice, flavour and vibe that makes the people recognisable (and sometimes a bit loud!) wherever we go.

We may not achieve all these things all the time. In fact, we often fail. But let’s keep striving to become better at what we’re best that. And in the process, light up the world around us!