Johannesburg, Tuesday, 1 September 2015 – September not only marks the beginning of spring – the season of new beginnings – but also the commemoration of South Africa’s Heritage Month, when the nation celebrates and recognises the cultural and social wealth and diversity of South Africa.
This year, National Heritage Month 2015 is observed under the theme “Preserving our indigenous heritage and knowledge” with the aim of strengthening and harnessing shared heritage, diverse cultures, languages and religions, and fostering shared national consciousness that make up the DNA of South Africa’s rich heritage.
Heritage Month is recognised as an opportunity for South Africans to reaffirm once more that what unites us far outweighs that which divides us. It is a time to celebrate the profound influence of the nation’s cultural and social heritage, to promote national pride and patriotism.
South Africans are socially diverse, yet united by their love for the country and the national flag. And this year’s theme presents an opportunity to highlight the common national identity that will allow the nation to break through the barriers of culture, race or religion that still divide us and also offer the prospect to strive for a common national identity that is supported and cherished by all.
The preamble to the Constitution of South Africa captures and defines the basis of our common heritage by stating that: “We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”
In the words of Oliver Reginald Tambo, one of the nation’s main architects of our democracy: “We are one people with a rich cultural heritage which manifests itself in many variations. Our task is not to preserve our culture in its antique forms but to build on it and let it grow to assume a national character, the better to become a component of all evolving world culture.”
Brand South Africa calls on all citizens to play their part to break down the barriers of our diversity and find the common traits that define us as South Africans. This will be the most sustainable route towards strengthening our pride and patriotism which will drive the active citizenship that will move South Africa forward.
Let us all play our part and commemorate Heritage Month 2015.
Follow the conversation on @Brand_SA #HeritageMonth2015