Heritage Day | Western Cape Government

Heritage Day

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Heritage Day is celebrated on 24 September each year.  It's a day that encourages South Africans to celebrate their culture, beliefs and traditions.

We're known as the rainbow nation because of our rich diversity, many cultures and different traditions. We may have 11 official languages, many different religions, and many different identities but we're one nation.

What is heritage?

Heritage is the shared characteristics, traditions, practices and beliefs that a family, community, or social group passes down from one generation to the next. Our heritage can include our natural resources, as well as our culture.

Natural heritage is our natural environment, such as mountains, rivers, protected areas and the animals that inhabit those areas. These areas, like the Cape Floral Kingdom, are unique and enjoy special recognition and protection internationally.

Cultural heritage is the creative and scientific values and innovations that shape us as a society. Poetry, art, film, as well as the rock paintings in the Cederberg,form part of our cultural heritage.

Even though heritage can vary from person to person, depending on our language, culture, and even the city we grew up in, we all share a common national identity as South Africans.

Children playing Morabaraba, a boardgame in some ways resembling chess or checkersLearn to play an indigenous game this Heritage Day

Indigenous games are part of our heritage, and we must keep the games alive. The indigenous games of South African are as diverse as the people that live here. Games such as dibeke (a running ball game), diketo (a coordination game), and all the other indigenous games play an important role in our identity, culture, and heritage.

When we master one of these games, we can teach it to somebody else and make sure that these sports and games don't become extinct.  This Heritage Day, take time to learn how to play one of these games and discover something of the past that we can take into the future. Have a look at the indigenous games general and code specific rules to get started.

Every year, about 2 800 athletes from across the country takes part in the Indigenous Games Festival. The competition, hosted in partnership with Limpopo Provincial Department, will take place at the Sheshego Stadium, Polokwane. Follow #MyGamesMyRootsMyFuture on Twitter to share in the conversation.

The 9 Provincial Teams will compete in 9 discipline codes, which include Kgati, Morabaraba, Ncuva, Khokho, Dibeke, Iintonga, Diketo, Jukskei and Drie Stokkies.

The 2 best provincial teams get to participate in the TAFISA (The Association for International Sport for all) World Sport for All Games, Jarkata, Indonesia.

The National Indigenous Games Festival will take place from 22 to 27 September 2019

VIDEO: We asked the question, what is your heritage?

The content on this page was last updated on 25 September 2019