Heritage Month to showcase SA's rich culture

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cape Town - Heritage Month represents an opportunity for South Africans to celebrate their rich and diverse cultural heritage, says Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile.

Mashatile said on Thursday South Africans should use the month to create a stage for the African community to unite, celebrate and preserve Africa's indigenous cultures through traditional dance, music and crafts.

"It is an opportunity to reaffirm once more that what unites us far outweighs that which divides us. It is a time to celebrate the profound power of our cultural heritage to help in the renewal of our society and to promote patriotism. "

September marks national Heritage Month in South Africa and this year's theme is "Celebrating South Africa's Craft, our Heritage".

During this month, the Department of Arts and Culture will pay tribute in particular to the crafters, many of whom are found in the rural areas, who have made a significant contribution to the development of our country's rich heritage.

"This year's theme presents an opportunity to highlight the socio-economic impact of the crafts industry in our country," said Mashatile, adding that his department would further develop and invest in the crafts sector of the economy.

Also speaking during the heritage debate on Thursday, Arts and Culture Minister, Lulu Xingwana reinstated the importance of crafts as, saying the creative industries are critical are important for nation-building.

"They create critical opportunities to uplift and empower our people, especially the youth. This year we focus on the role that craft plays in building our nation."

She told the Members of Parliament that crafts contribute to government's rural development objective.

"It is our belief that tangible programmes and strong marketing campaigns in the crafts sector will contribute to rural development."

Heritage Month recognises aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, our historical inheritance, language, the food and craft.

This year's Heritage Day celebrations which will be held in the Sekhukhune District at the Ntwampe Sports ground in the Moroke village in Limpopo.

The Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe is expected to address this event.

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