Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people.
Heritage Day, now dubbed National Braai Day, is a time where expats, like myself, definitely get homesick.
Seeing that it’s a day to celebrate South Africa’s heritage, it got me thinking about all the special qualities that I will reminisce about this Heritage Day.
1. Public holidays galore
South Africans are lucky enough to boast 12 public holidays in a year, and what’s more, if a holiday falls on a Sunday, everyone gets the Monday off as well!
2. The beauty of the braai
There is nothing that tops a South African braai: sizzling boerewors, pap and gravy, and an ice-cold beer.
3. South African soapies
We have all watched an episode or two of Isidingo or Generations. If not, I am almost certain at least some of you watched 7 De Laan to improve your Afrikaans at school.
4. 11 National Languages
We can never run out of options when it comes to languages now, can we?
5. Sporting nation
Most South Africans are die-hard sports fans. Nothing can beat the atmosphere in the air during Test Cricket and Super Rugby seasons.
6. South African Flag
With all its colors and the meaning behind them, the sight of a South African flag waving in the wind hits you straight in the heart.
7. ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika‘
I get all patriotic just thinking about the boisterous and passionate national anthem.
8. Fry-Up Breakfast
Hmmmm. All you need is one pan, eggs, sausages, beans, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and you’re good to go!
Lock me in a Woolworths store overnight and I’ll only be too happy. All the Chuckleschocolates may just go missing!
10. South African clothing brands
When you mix tradition with an ultra-modern twist, the end result is nothing short of spectacular!
11. Sun City – The Lost City Resort
Because an African-themed Palace is just so cool.
12. Table Mountain
Oh yes, we claim one of the seven wonders of the geological world!
13. Gold Rush
South African’s history of gold dates all the way back to 1886.
14. De Beers Group
Many ladies owe those sparkles on their fingers to these guys.
15. The great outdoors
South Africans love the outdoors, and we can’t blame them with places like Tugela Falls, The Garden Route, The Kruger National Park, the world’s 6 floral kingdoms, Kimberley’s Big Hole, whale-watching at Hermanus, Seal Island, Cango Caves, and so so much more!
16. Largest sporting events
The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is only the largest timed cycle race on the globe, the Midmar mile is the largest open water swim in the world, and the Comrades Marathon is the largest ultra-marathon. We are clearly quite the active bunch!
17. Christiaan Barnard
What do Barnard and a heart have in common?
18. CT Scan
Is that because Allan Macleod Cormack received his physics degree in Cape Town? Just kidding!
19. Kreepy Krawly
You owe your childhood fears to two South African engineers from Randburg.
20. Vilakazi Street, Soweto
Only one street in the world is home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.