OUR HERITAGE, OUR LESSONS
We are almost three quarters through the year! What a unique year it’s been. None of us would have thought that we would face over 150 days of time in lockdown, confined to our homes at the threat of a pandemic. This speaks to the uncertainty of life and therefore the importance of ensuring that everyday, in every moment we are living out loud!
This month, in truth we do this every month as Toys with Roots, we celebrate our heritage. It’s important for us to know and understand what our South African heritage is in order to be able to explain it to our children. The National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) defines heritage this way: “Heritage is what is preserved from the past as the living collective memory of a people not only to inform the present about the past but also to equip successive generations to fashion their future. It is what creates a sense of identity and assures rootedness and continuity, so that what is brought out by dynamism of culture is not changed for its own sake, but it is a result of people’s conscious choice to create a better life.”
It is not just about our cultures but is defined, according to Professor Kathy Munro, honorary associate professor in the school of architecture and planning at Wits University, as legacies from the past. She says heritage could be physical objects such as buildings or artefacts, or cultural such as language or customs, or books, or songs, or shared traditions
Heritage is also defined across 3 areas:
the tangible - our historical sites, buildings, monuments, objects in museum artefacts and archives.
the natural - our waterways, landscapes, woodlands, uplands, native wildlife, insects, plants, trees, birds and animals.
the intangible - our customs, sports, music, dance, folklore, crafts, skills, and knowledge.
“Heritage is an essential part of the present we live in – and of the future we will build.”
Photo credit: kids-world-travel-guide