Heritage Month Events | Western Cape Government



Heritage Month Events

7 September 2005
MEC Whitey Jacobs on Thursday, 8 September unveiled the month-long activities of the Department aimed at celebrating the Heritage Month at a function attended by stakeholders. In line with the sub-theme "Our indigenous food, our knowledge, our heritage", guests got a glimpse of the different activities planned for the month.

Have a look at some of these activities that will be taking place over this period, use the events calendar as a guide and join the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in its celebration of Heritage Month.

Indigenous Food Day

table laid out with variety of indigenous foods

Variety of dishes of indigenous food at a cultural event
An Indigenous food day will take place in Caledon on 23 September 2005. This programme is to popularize the use of indigenous food and traditions in South Africa as a vehicle towards creation of a national identity.

Set in a background depicting the rich cultural tapestry of the Western Cape province where the different indigenous food cultures will be on display. Demonstrations and educational talks will form the background through which information will be shared associated with different food experiences of the various cultures, e.g Cape Malay, Khoikhoi, AmaXhosa, Boerekos, e.t.c

This programme is to create an enabling environment for the promotion of cultural experiences among various cultural groups to ensure that the Department contributes to the appreciation of our common heritage. A guest speaker will address the audience with an educational talk.

Members from the local community will demonstrate and display different dishes of their cultures eg Cape Malay, Khoikhoi, AmaXhosa and Boerekos, throughout the day in the Victoria Hall. They will prepare small portions of the food on display in order for the public to sample the dishes.

Throughout the day, the "chefs" from the different cultures will get a time slot to do a special demonstration of one of the unique dishes that's on display eg samoosa folding or making of "stywe pap". Should one be interested in preparing a dish or two from another culture when they get home, books on traditional foods and the actual cooking utensils will be on display.

Learners are also to benefit from this project, as an educational programme will be supplied to schools in the region to inform them of the preparation and use of indigenous food over centuries in South Africa.

To be part of the audience to explore the many cultural dishes offered, contact Ms Hutton on 021- 483 9696 or cell 083 922 6512 as there are limited seats and enter if your name is on list.

storyteller with microphone

Storyteller Elias Nel, depicting an emotion of a character in his tale

Afrikaans Dialect and Storytelling Festival
An Afrikaans dialect and storytelling festival will form part of the Heritage Month celebrations. This festival encompasses the celebration of this year's theme, "Our living heritage", because storytelling is indeed our living heritage.

The Western Cape Language Committee has for the past three years held Afrikaans Dialect and Storytelling festivals in three different regions in the Western Cape, namely the Peninsula, Southern Cape and Namaqualand. The initial event was a one evening function, while the subsequent events involved a weekend of various activities culminating in a cultural festival.

These festivals are held to raise awareness of the dialects of the Afrikaans language spoken in the region and to record stories involving the culture, history and traditions of the particular region. During the festival participants attend workshops on the art of storytelling. This cultural festival at the end of the event gives local performers an opportunity to showcase their talents

Participants often range from young people to older folk who have more background regarding the history and traditions of the particular region. This always allows for skills and knowledge transfer between the generations.

This year's event will start with an intimate storytelling evening by the artists and participants who are conversant in the art of storytelling. The aim of the first evening will be to give participants an opportunity to interact and observe professional storytellers at work. Thereafter, will be workshops on the art of storytelling, theoretical background, and the actual event. This is where the participants will be given an opportunity to tell stories relating to the history, culture and tradition of their communities. These stories will be transcribed and sent to the participants.
This festival highlights the importance of oral tradition as a means of keeping alive a community's culture and history.

Oral History Project

old radios
Memorabilia of the past

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport recognised the importance of collecting, preserving, protecting and disseminating living heritage. With this aim in mind the Department embarked on a process to record the histories of the people of the Western Cape. The Western Cape Oral History Project will be launched on 24 September 2005, Heritage Day in Caledon.

The aim of the project is to redress imbalances of the past in terms of collections, exhibitions, public and educational programmes and to make services accessible to all. It will also assist museums in collecting and furthering the heritage of previously disadvantaged communities.

This Oral History Project will redress the imbalances in the presentation of the story of the people of the Western Cape and will promote ownership, control of and benefit from this shared heritage.

To kick-start the project a series of oral history workshops will be conducted at schools in the Overberg region from 19 - 22 September 2005. Caledon Museum has been collecting oral histories of families for many years and has a representative collection of family photographs and other memorabilia. This event would enable oral history to be taken beyond the formal confines of the museum and firmly establish it as a school and community activity.

Oral history is the recording of people's memories. It is the living history of everyone's unique life experience, which is why it forms part of the department's Heritage month programme. Oral history is also the recording of people's experiences on sound and videotape.

Discovering our past teaches us about ourselves and about the people and places we see every day. We must remember that the full history in South Africa and all over the world has been hidden and distorted. By writing a history you may uncover information about the past that you can't read anywhere else. Major events are not the only contributing factors to history and it is important to include the stories and opinions of ordinary people.

MEC Whitey Jacobs says, "It is important for you to know that you yourselves are already building your own histories and will become invaluable sources of memory in the future, therefore take advantage of this project"

For further information on the Oral History Project and the event in Caledon, contact Michael Jonas on 021 505 5100.


MEC Whitey Jacobs says, "The activities of the Heritage Month have great potential to bridge the cultural divide and we must intensify all our efforts to promote what unites us. I hope the affected communities will take note of these activities and actively partake in the rich cultural exchange platforms so that we respect and appreciate other cultures.

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