Initially excluded from the Public Holiday’s Bill, the IFP petitioned to have the 24th September included in the list of public holidays that would be honoured as part of the new post-apartheid dispensation. The day had long been celebrated in KwaZulu-Natal as ‘Shaka’s Day’, but with a new government came a new name, and in an effort to unite the country, the 24th September is now celebrated as Heritage Day.
In a recent SAFM discussion on the meaning of heritage, it was suggested that while individual South Africans may have a very varied heritage, there is something that unites us all, and that is the story of South Africa’s liberation. While many people believe that it was only non-whites who were liberated, the radio discussion talked about how all South Africans were given their freedom in April 1994, as the white population were also living under the Apartheid regime.
This past weekend saw Heritage Day 2017 being celebrated all over the country, with many people dressing in traditional attire – whether that meant wearing a kilt for those Scotsmen who now call South Africa their home, or beaded skirts or saris.
Image courtesy of Department of Arts and Culture, KwaZulu-Natal