September marks annual Heritage Month in South Africa and it is used to celebrate and promote the varied cultural heritage of our nation. It is a month dedicated to recognise our heritage, both tangible and intangible. Tangible heritage refers to buildings, historic places, artefacts and monuments, while intangible are attributes that we have inherited from past generations such as language and knowledge.
This year marks 20 years since Heritage Day was proclaimed in 1996 and it will be commemorated under theme “Human Treasures and Legends: our Living Heritage”. Living heritage means cultural expressions and practices that form a body of knowledge and provide continuity, dynamism and meaning of social life to generations of people as individuals, social groups and communities.
The main event will be held on 24 September and will feature a presidential address to the nation and representatives from various political parties are expected to be present. The rationale behind the commemoration is that “our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”