Accepting other people’s cultures while embracing your own
Choma, we are a nation filled with diverse cultural heritage. From our different races to the many languages we can speak and the many genders we are learning to embrace, we are country filled with cultural richness choma. When we use the term “ubuntu”, which means “I am because you are” we are talking about creating respect for other people. But choma, how can you learn to embrace not only your culture but learn how to respect other people’s cultures too, especially during Heritage Month?
Celebrating the diversity of South Africa through our cultural heritage
- On the 24th of September, we’ll be recognising and celebrating the cultural wealth of South Africa. Yes choma, this Saturday, we’ll be honouring the day by remembering the cultural heritage of all the cultures that exist and make up this beautiful country. There are many ways you can do that choma. One way is through oral history: Sit down with your elders and discuss how your culture came about and how you can reclaim, restore and preserve your culture. Or, you can visit one of your choma’s family and ask them of the origins of their culture.
- Find out if there’ll be an event honouring Heritage Day in your community. There could be a dance or theatre performance which could help you learn more about your culture and the cultures of others choma.
Identifying prejudices and learning to accept our differences
Unfortunately, some people block themselves to protect themselves instead of opening up to others. This may lead to not trusting other people regardless of colour, religion or gender. Choma, these kinds of responses only really fuel further mistrust yet, even in our own immediate environments such as at college, university or in our community. Next time you are out with your chomas, perhaps invite someone you wouldn’t ordinarily hang out with into your group of friends. You may learn something new about the people of this beautiful country of ours. Be prepared to listen to other’s opinions and acknowledge them too. Also, be confident enough to express your own views. Listening to other people’s opinions doesn’t mean you have to move away from your own views, but a different view of culture, other than your own, can sometimes make you think about things in a different light.
Love your culture and don’t be afraid to show it
You have a cultural heritage choma. Your heritage is made up of traditions and practices that are passed on from the older generation to the younger generation, or from parents to children. Your heritage is also about what has been passed on from your family, community and the place you and other people were raised in. For example, you may have grown up in a family where there’s a braai at least once a month. You too may grow up hosting a braai at least once a month too. Monthly braais are a part of your heritage. Culture is something that will be a part of you, whether it’s your home language, respecting your elders to your cultural attire and the traditional food your family enjoys cooking, it’s a part of who you are so don’t be afraid to show it off choma.
Choma, who we are today is a result of our experiences and our upbringing. However, no matter how different we are culturally we are still growing human beings learning to still understand ourselves. So, let’s learn to be accepting of others.
When we get to learn about others and respect our similarities and our differences, we get to learn so much more about South Africa and about ourselves and this helps us to grow closer together as a nation.
Choma, South Africa would be a very dull place if we were all exactly the same. So celebrate your differences choma and learn more about those cultures you know very little about. You may even gain a new friend in the process. Choma, how else will you be celebrating your culture and others’ this Heritage Day? Share your story.
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