1. Bring and braai: invite friends and family to a braai and ask them to prepare dishes from different South African cultures. Have naan bread or mealie bread, peri-peri chicken or snoek. Try a side of curried rice salad, and finish off with melktert or fried bananas and ice cream. Ask your children to colour in serviettes in the colours of the South African flag.
2. Fly the flag: have fun making the South African flag using different crafts such as painting, sewing or even beadwork. Put the flag up in your car for everyone to see.
3. Spreading culture: get a white sheet and ask your children to decorate it and make it uniquely South African. Paint on the South African flag, write messages and stick on photos or postcards that show off our beautiful country. Post this to friends or family overseas so that they too can celebrate our heritage.
4. Cultural cupcakes: bake some cupcakes with your children and get them to ice the cupcakes using the colours of our flag. Or try making something South African, such as koeksisters or apricot jam squares. In the spirit of Ubuntu, share these with a neighbour or friend.
5. Making music: get your children to make, or simply decorate, some traditional South African instruments, such as a marimba, djembe drums or a vuvuzela. Paint on the South African flag and get playing. Why not try playing them to the tune of Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika.
Teachers and classes can also get involved in celebrating our heritage. Here are five fun class activities for schools to try out:
1. Dress up: ask all the children to wear something that shows off their culture, whether it be a complete outfit, such as a sari, or something small, such as a traditional beaded necklace.
2. Tradition sharing: get each child to share something unique about their culture with the rest of the class. For something different, organise children into groups and ask them to re-enact a story from their culture.
3. Weakest Link: mix children up into groups and give them a cultural quiz. How many languages are used in the national anthem? What are the 11 official languages of South Africa?
4. Take a trip: go on a class outing to a National Heritage Site or monument. Some of South Africa’s World Heritage Sites include Robben Island, the Cradle of Humankind or the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park with its San art. Monuments to visit include the Voortrekker Monument, the Nelson Mandela Capture Site or the Donkin Houses.
5. Lunch time: ask children to bring a dish or snacks from their culture for the class to sample and share. Set up an “around the country” feast by putting up cultural stations, where children can visit different cultures, taste their food and learn something unique about this culture.