Cultural identity is very important for the people of South Africa. Our diversity of ethnic heritage and traditions remains strong. Seldom will you encounter such a range of cultural events in one place, from a Hindu Festival of Lights (Diwali), to a traditional African wedding or the Chinese New Year.
From the Cape’s Dutch culture and Cape Malay heritage to the old Gold Rush trail in Mpumalanga, to the battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal where the Zulu defeated the British Empire, to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and other great leaders of the liberation struggle were incarcerated for so long – South Africa is steeped in history.
Cultural tours are very popular and there is a wide variety of options, from Basotho Cultural Villages, to the Zulu, Xhosa, Shangaan, Pedi, Ndebele or a down-home Afrikaner experience. Here you can walk down the path of time to a world of colourfully decorated thatched huts with walls plastered in a mixture of mud and dung, where the women grind maize clad in beautifully coloured robes and adorned in beadwork. This is a world of myths and legends told around the fire at night, of singing and dancing and drumming, where youths still go through initiation rites to take them into adulthood and parents earn a lobola (bride price) when their daughters get married. Here you can experience traditional foods, herbs and medicines of Africa and you can have your fortune told in the bones thrown by a Sangoma (traditional healer).
South Africa offers a cultural immersion which is both fascinating and insightful. It can open one’s eyes to different ways of doing things, or to new insights into corporate structures, conflict resolution and leadership styles.