South Africa Holidays and Traditions

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A lot of the holidays in South Africa came to be after Mandela and the ANC came into power. They decided to change them, making sure that they would mean something for everyone in the country, so that no one would feel left out and discriminated. Many of them were made to honor and remember the people who helped the country to where it is today, and who fought for a better future. Nelson Mandela did not want anyone to feel left out.

One of those is Mandela day, obviously to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela. Though it failed to actually become a national holiday, people still like to celebrate by doing something useful to their community for 67 minutes on the 18th of July, the day of Nelson’s birth. The number 67 was chosen since Mandela spent 67 years being politically active. You can also see the number being repeated on the official website, amongst tips of what to do this day. You can, for example, pick up garbage and trash, help serve and cook food to the homeless and children, or, suggested on the website, paint walls in schools that need it.

Another holiday which was created to honor people is Human Rights day, celebrated on the 21st of March. The holiday was created to honor the 69 people who was shot by the police 1960 when they were protesting against the pass laws. The pass laws, established during apartheid to limit the movement and freedom of the coloured people, required that all the non-white people would have to have a passport with them when they traveled to white areas. This was obviously a disaster for the non-white people, hence the protest. Since the people protesting was not making a threat, the police had no right, nor reason to kill them, seeing it was not self-defense. This holiday is also celebrated all over the world, but not for the same reason that South Africa celebrate it.

Of course some of the holidays celebrated in South Africa are common holidays celebrated all over the world, such as New Year’s....
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