Heart Your Heritage
Do you think about your culture or heritage Choma, what is it and what makes you feel like you belong to it? Culture can mean a lot of things for different people but essentially it’s a term we use when we’re describing a group of people who share a certain set of common beliefs, traditions or heritage. South Africa has many different cultures and each of them is unique. You can also belong to more than one culture - for example you might be Xhosa but also feel like you’re part of other cultures such as rap culture, township culture, youth culture and overall South African culture. Whatever culture means to you, being proud of it is a part of preserving your culture Choma so here’s why you should love your culture and heritage.
It’s part of your identity
Your heritage, background and culture is part of what makes you unique. Your heritage is part of your story. It makes up your experiences and your beliefs. Practising your culture should not be seen as something weird or shameful Choma, who’s to say one culture is more right than another? The world would be a boring place if we were all the same and had the same backgrounds. Your culture makes you interesting and gives you something you can share with others.
It’s part of your connection to others
Culture creates community. It makes you feel like you belong to something meaningful. No matter where you are in the world, if you meet someone with a similar heritage to you, you instantly feel connected to them. Imagine if you were overseas and met South African people, wouldn’t you feel less alone? Being part of a culture or belonging to a specific heritage is like being a part of a family.
It’s an important part of your history
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” - Marcus Garvey
What makes us more proud of our heritage and culture is knowing how it started or how far it’s come. Think about South Africa’s history. It took us a very long time to get where we are today Choma. We have a very painful past, filled with stories of suffering and unfair treatment. However, we also have many stories of strength, bravery and even celebration. South Africans worked hard to build a nation where we could live the way we do. it’s important to understand that so we can appreciate who we are and how far we’ve come as a nation.
Understanding where you come from is part of celebrating where you are. Don’t let anyone make you feel like your background is irrelevant or wrong just because it’s different or just because they don’t understand it.
Be proud of your culture. Celebrate it. Educate others on it. Share it and love it!
Here’s a quote by former President Thabo Mbeki that reminds us to be proud of our beautiful African heritage:
“I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.”
What culture do you belong to and what do you love most about it Choma?
Remember, you can send me a message to talk to me about anything. So if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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