THE promotion of different languages and cultural diversity should not be the sole responsibility of the government, but of all human beings.
This was the viewpoint of Mandeni Municipality Deputy Mayor, Cllr Phindile Sishi, speaking at the
Sign Language Indaba held last week at iSithebe Community Hall.
She said languages, including sign language, play a pivotal role in transcending physical barriers of distance, borders and time.
‘As part of the global village, efforts must be made by all individuals regardless of their social status to play their part in preserving their identity and culture.
‘Today’s programme reminds us of the importance to interact with other nations, as well as learning their culture and penetrating their market, but still being able to preserve our own identity.’
Sishi also commended the KZN Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation for choosing Mandeni to host such an occasion.
‘We appreciate the role played by this department, and today’s programme confirms that cultural diversity is closely tied to linguistic diversity,’ she said.
Addressing the same Indaba, MEC for Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation Bongi Sithole-Moloi appealed to stakeholders to ensure that all languages were given the same recognition in society.
‘This Indaba is not only about languages, but is in fact about the people. This programme also involves reconciliation and tolerance.
‘We should not only sing about tolerance, but practise it with one another. Let us all be supportive to those who depend on sign language for communication, and make them feel welcome and part of the South African community,’ she said.
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