Category: Culture

National Heritage Day / National Braai Day: Fire, Chops, and Chums

South Africa is called the Rainbow Nation for its rich diversity of ancestry, cuisine, landscape and even languages. To help South Africans celebrate their heritage, September 24th is set aside annually to recognize all aspects of South African culture, including creative expression, historical inheritance, language, food, and the land in which they live.

National Heritage Day

National Heritage Day

The Parliament of South Africa allocated September 24th as National Heritage Day after the 1994 democratic election. An official public holiday, National Heritage Day was first celebrated throughout the country in 1995. In Kwazulu-Natal, the date was already known as Shaka Day in commemoration of Shaka Zulu, the legendary Zulu King who united the various Zulu clans.

Top 10 Surprising Facts about South Africa

Franschhoeck

Did you know?

1. South Africa has 11 official languages. English is understood and spoken by most of the people in the country.

2. South Africa’s drinking water is rated the third safest in the world.

3. South Africa is the only country in the entire world that has voluntarily abandoned its nuclear weapons program.

Top 10 Experiences in South Africa

The lure of the exotic; the mysteries of the unknown, the confluence of cultures… South Africa has a universal, seductive appeal.  Here are just some of the reasons why.

12 Apostles Mountain Range

1. Scenic splendor

South Africa has some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery in the world. Expect miles of golden beaches and unspoiled coastline; dramatic mountains and mountain passes; 19 national parks; game reserves teeming with big game and hundreds of birds; ancient forests; semi-deserts; oceans and rivers; rolling grasslands, and natural flower fields – all waiting to be explored.

South Africa’s Holiday Season

Christmas Tree

While children in the northern hemisphere dream of a snowy white Christmas, in South Africa, it’s time for sun, sand and sea. Since it is summer in South Africa, the kids are out of school and families often flock to the beach or to peaceful nature reserves such as Kruger National Park.

The Soul of South Africa

Cape Township - Soul of South Africa

 

South Africa’s townships are infused with the spirit of Ubuntu, which means: “I am, because we are.” A term for neighborliness, and a proudly South African humanist philosophy, it is a wisdom widely embraced by all South Africans today. The townships of South Africa are where the heart of the nation beats. This is the real South Africa.

The Rhythms of the Mines

Gumboot Dancers

Rooted back in the dark gold mine tunnels of South Africa more than a century ago, gumboot dancing has come full circle. Initially a codified tap used by black miners deprived of conversation, gumboot dancing today is one of the most expressive South African dance genres.

South Africa’s Holiday Season

Christmas Tree

While children in the northern hemisphere dream of a snowy white Christmas, in South Africa, it’s time for sun, sand and sea. Since it is summer in South Africa, the kids are out of school and families often flock to the beach or to peaceful nature reserves such as Kruger National Park.

South African Sweets

Most traditional South African desserts reflect a strong Dutch influence harking back to the early settlers of the country. You won’t find heavy chocolate desserts or cheesecakes in South African cookbooks; most recipes have simple ingredients that are readily available.

Melktart

MilktertThis sweet and creamy dessert is reminiscent of a cream pie, simple and delicious! The Afrikaans term, melk tert means “milk tart” in English.  A melk tert consists of a sweet pastry crust with a light, filling made from milk, eggs, and flour and is usually topped with cinnamon. It is a popular dessert or teatime treat. Recipes vary greatly from family to family and region to region.  Just about everyone who loves milk tart has a recipe handed down from “Ouma” (Grandma).