Heritage Day Through the Eyes of Belgium Campus Students

“I think it is important for us to celebrate Heritage Day because it is a way of giving honour and respect to each and everyone’s culture and their different traditional beliefs. Belgium Campus has people of different races, backgrounds and cultures and having such a diverse community means everyone is allowed to be themselves and feel accepted.

I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo and to celebrate my culture I wear my traditional clothing called pagne. I also enjoy traditional food with my family. We eat pap and pondu (kasava leaves) as well as bingovu (sweet potatoes) and lamb,” says Nkolo Mukeza-Yves, a 2nd year Bachelor of Computing student.

“I see Heritage Day as a celebration of the diversity and different cultures within our country. My family and I celebrate Heritage Day by coming together to have a braai. It is a time for us to share the food we enjoy, while also enjoying each other’s company,” Tennille Hardy, a 2nd year Bachelor of Computing student shares.

“As human beings we share many traits but we also have an array of differences. To many people this can be very scary but I believe that the celebration of our differences can convey our respect and willingness to understand one another. To me, Heritage Day is an incredible occasion during which our cultures shine bright and the philosophies we treasure are displayed.

I believe Belgium Campus is a culturally diverse institution because of the spectra that is the student body and the members of faculty. The benefits of this diversity are many but most importantly it prepares us for a future of open mindedness and acceptance.

As an Indian, I like to celebrate my heritage by indulging in our traditional cuisine and celebrating cultural events like Diwali with my family. I enjoy treats like soji (a sweet delicacy) and savoury dishes like mutton curry and roti. Two of my favourite pastimes are listening to Indian music and watching Bollywood movies,” shares Aaron Krishna, a 2nd year Bachelor of Computing student.

“I think issues like the xenophobic violence that has been taking place in South Africa are caused by a lack of understanding of each other’s cultures. Heritage Day is important because it makes people aware of the different cultures out there and it helps people develop an appreciation for cultures outside of their own. It is the perfect time for people to ask questions about each other’s traditions and through these conversations we may realise we are a lot more similar than we are different.

I was born in Australia, my dad is originally from Zimbabwe and my mom is from the Eastern Cape. In my culture your heritage comes from your father, so I consider myself to be Zimbabwean but I love that I have been exposed to and been able to experience a number of different cultures,” comments Haniel Maponga, a 1st year Diploma in Information Technology student.

“Heritage Day unites people from different cultures and walks of life. I feel it is important to celebrate our different heritages and show appreciation for them because anything that you don’t appreciate you’ll eventually lose and what a shame this would be.

Although I grew up in South Africa, I am originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and this culture is embedded in me, it makes me who I am today. My family and I celebrate our heritage by eating a lot of our cultural foods like le frète, matembele and le bitoyo,” shares Samuel Kalubi, a 2nd year Bachelor of Computing student.

“Celebrating our heritages is important because it helps keep them alive for the future generations.

Being at an institution like Belgium Campus, where everyone comes from different places, we are exposed to a number of different cultural perspectives which broaden our understanding of the world and help us grow as individuals,” 2nd year Diploma in Information Technology student, Mutale Mwananshiku, says.