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Culture is crucial at Dominican Convent

| November 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

Cover Story Heritage Day 2014 was celebrated in fine style at Dominican Convent School in Belgravia, Johannesburg, with both staff and students making it an occasion to remember, reports Graham Howarth, headmaster.

“Traditional dress, dancing, singing and poetry were the order of the day, as together we celebrated not only our collective heritage but equally our wonderful diversity. It gives me such hope to witness how our students embrace diversity, celebrate difference, and see the other as unique, something to be treasured,” says Howarth.

Howarth recalls that in an address marking Heritage Day in 1996, the late president Nelson Mandela spoke about the profound power that this day could have in building our new democracy.

“Certainly Dominican witnessed this power on Tuesday as we experienced a marvellous sense of unity in our diversity.”

Howarth had a message for all schools: “Let us transport this spirit and ensure that this becomes commonplace, an everyday occurrence, not just something to be ‘worn’ on 24 September each year.”

What some Dominican Convent students had to say: “It was good to see our school take culture so seriously. The day reinforced my respect for other cultures and was a splendid day for me to learn about the diversity of the nation, and continent as a whole.” Zinhle Dlamini, Grade 9

“The Heritage Day concert was the first event of this sort held in the high school since my arrival in 2011. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to share my origins and culture with members of my school community. The highlight of my day was when the support staff came to the high school assembly and showcased their cultures to us.” Bongumusa Mbatha, Grade 11

“I am Malawian. We eat fish and rice. At weddings, we throw money on the floor for the bride and groom. At funerals, we wear cloth with patterns. Where I come from it is very hot. To speak our language is also very difficult.” Nokuthla Dlamini, Grade 2M

“I am half of my mom and half of my dad. I loved wearing my Indian shirt.” Deyshan Kaloo, Grade 2S

Category: Summer 2014

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