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Heritage Day vs Braai Day: Stop With That Noise Tuu!

Yet again, without fail, the 24th of September came and so did the complaints about Braai Day…. Yet again, I have to ask, are we going to have this debate every year? Why do we not just have it once and get over it? This Braai thing has been happening since 2007, it’s 5 years old! 

About Heritage Day: 

“The day is one of our newly created public holidays and its significance rests in recognising aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and difficult to pin down: creative expression, our historical inheritance, language, the food we eat as well as the land in which we live.

“Within a broader social and political context, the day’s events…are a powerful agent for promulgating a South African identity, fostering reconciliation and promoting the notion that variety is a national asset as opposed to igniting conflict.

“Heritage has defined as “that which we inherit: the sum total of wild life and scenic parks, sites of scientific or historical importance, national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, literature and music, oral traditions and museum collections together with their documentation.”

What Jan Braai’s site says about Braai Day: 

Our mission

Our mission is to position National Braai Day as South Africa’s annual day of celebration. South Africans gathering around fires, being the central theme of the celebration.

  • National Heritage Day is a public holiday in South Africa. Our government set this day aside for all South Africans to celebrate our rich heritage.
  • Across race, language, region and religion, we all share one common heritage. It is called many things: Chisa Nyama, Braai and Ukosa to name few. Although the ingredients may differ, the one thing that never changes is that when we have something to celebrate we light fires, and prepare great feasts.
  • We encourage all South Africans to at some point during 24 September each year, gather around a fireand braai.
  • We liken this initiative to annual celebrations cherished by other leading nations of the world; Thanksgiving for Americans, St Patricks Day for the Irish, Bastille Day for the French and Australia Day for Australians.
  • This is a noble cause, which will contribute to strengthening South Africa as a nation.

So if this day is about celebrating our heritage, our food, our creative expression etc, what is so wrong about people having braai on their day off? If it’s a public holiday, it means that you have the day to do as you please and not even on 27th April, the day that we celebrate our first democratic elections, no on Human Rights Day do ALL south africans attend Rallies organized by the government so I really do not see why it is such a big deal for someone to suggest that South Africans of all races get together to braai.

It’s not like people are being told they will be arrested if they DON’T braai, you still have a choice.

Why are we complaining?

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3 comments on “Heritage Day vs Braai Day: Stop With That Noise Tuu!

  1. Bubblez
    September 25, 2012

    Is Braai really his surname? If so What a clever way to name a holiday after yourself!

    Most people I know don’t like the fact that umlungu came up with this (as if heritage is only a black thing) We (some blacks) have a sense of entitlement when it comes to such things.

  2. Blackwoman
    September 25, 2012

    My understanding of the debate was that people were complaining about calling it “braai day”. So, the complainants do not really care what people do on the day, but on’t want it referred to as “Braai day”

  3. Ultimate South Africa
    September 17, 2013

    Heritage Day – 24th September

    Braai Like a South African, Eat Like a King.

    When you think about Heritage Day what comes to mind? You would be forgiven for feeling a little flustered in your explanation. Unsurprisingly, this South African public holiday comes with a little story.

    Not originally intended to be a public holiday, King Shaka Day had been left off of the newly elected governments Public Holiday’s Bill, leaving an unpleasant taste in the mouths of South Africa’s largest tribe. The Zulus. With this omission the Inkata Freedom Party refused to sign the Bill as their most famous Zulu King Shaka was not being remembered with the respect he commanded. Without their signature on the bill it would fail and so after a period of negotiation Heritage Day was born. It represents not only the mighty King Shaka but also the celebration of the rich cultural heritage and diversity that makes South Africa such a vibrant nation.

    Former South African President Nelson Mandela had this to say on Heritage Day 2007: “When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation”.
    “But what has this got to do with braais?” we hear you say?

    Typically in South Africa, everything!

    In 2005 and in the vein of celebrating shared culture rather than focusing on cultural divisions, an initiative by Braai4Heritage and Jan Braai called upon all South Africans to celebrate their common roots by having a braai (barbeque) on Heritage day. The idea blossomed and today there are more braais on this day than any other. This year Castle Lager are actually going to try break the current world record (see below).

    Over time there have been some really high profile converts who enjoy the ongoing celebration but none more than one of South Africa’s favourite sons, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who in 2007 was made the National Spokesperson for “Braai Day.”
    So why not chuck some charcoal and meat into your car, round up your family, friends and associates and have a braai to celebrate our rainbow nation?

    To find out more about “Braai Day” visit http://www.braai.com

    South Africa will be bustling with local festivals, events and braais so we recommend checking with your local press for events. We have listed a few of our favourites, so take a look if they are in your area.

    Western Cape | Cape Town – Newlands Forrest
    What better way to char those steaks than being surrounded by some of South Africa’s most Jurassic pine trees? Conveniently located on the southern side of Table Mountain you will have plenty of time to kick back while the kids run a-muck. If you really feel up to it why not bring the mountain bikes and work up an appetite on some of the amazing trails?

    Entrance is R30 for up to six people and R10 per person thereafter. Mountain Biking is free. For more information contact Newlands Forrest on 021 422 1601/2.

    Limpopo | Magoebaskloof Spring Festival
    The Magoebaskloof Spring Fair in September is a laid-back affair. Visit a choice of local gardens on show, browse through craft markets, go picnicking or rambling in the forests, set sail on a sunset cruise. The markets are held in the village hall and nearby hotel and sell a range of crafts, textiles and furniture.

    One of the highlights of the Spring Fair is the exhibition of orchids. These delicate and exquisite plants never fail to bring oohs and aahs from visitors. But let’s not forget the fair is not only about the flowers. The local vicinity includes: hiking, mountain climbing, outdoor sports, bands, pubs, dancing, walks and so much more. We recommend booking in advance as the local accommodation is usually sold out when the fair starts.

    The event runs from the 21st – 29th September leaving Heritage Day slap bang in the middle of this fun filled extravaganza. You might be forgiven for not braaing as there really is something for everyone.

    Castle Lager Braai Nation – Braai World Record Attempt

    Get yourself and your crew to a Castle Lager braai event on Heritage Day, 24 September 2013, and help them break the world record for the most people braaing at the same time. The event is being held in 6 cities across South Africa and includes live music, bars and facilities to bring your own food, braai equipment and soft drinks.
    The events will take place in: Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. So why not be part of something huge and help a nation break a world record!

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