Colourful Cultural Civvies

BY Jessica Schoeman

Randa Abdel-Fattah — “We are, at almost every point of our day, immersed in Cultural Diversity: faces, clothes, smells, attitudes, values, traditions, behaviours, beliefs, rituals.” Everybody is unique; there is not one person who is exactly like you. Each person has qualities which make them truly themselves whether it be their culture, beliefs, looks or even how they behave. Each and every day, we encounter people who are different from us, people who do things different than what we would normally do. Even though we as people are different, at the end of the day we are all equal. Freedom Day, which is celebrated on the 27 April provides the opportunity for us to really celebrate our differences and unite as a Rainbow Nation.

In acknowledgement of Freedom Day, we at Riebeek College held the annual Cultural Civvies day on 26 April, where everyone dressed up in the Culture of their choice and celebrated heritage and diversity. The Cultural Board handed out sweets and certificates to the girls and were amazed at the response they received. There was even a best dressed competition which was eagerly participated in by many. Wherever you looked, cheerful singing of traditional songs could be heard and cultures from around the world could be seen. Kamvelihle Mgobo 7C says, “I came dressed as a cowgirl. It felt amazing to be dressed in such an interesting culture.”

Whether it was traditional clothes or outfits which were bought, some even handmade and designed, almost the whole school was dressed to impress. Mrs S. Gerber the teacher in charge of Cultural Board says, “This year we saw more innovation and creativity in the selection of outfits worn. There was a greater diversity in the cultures represented. The school was so colourful and beautiful. It was decided that the few who were in school uniform were marking the culture of education! We are very grateful to the Cultural Board members who manned the gates handing out sweets and certificates to the seniors. Each junior class received a gift bag of sweets and participation certificates. Being on the front page of the UD on 28 April was an added bonus!”

There was pride in one’s culture. Maame Mends-Brew 11C, says “I really thought it was a day where all different cultures could unite and we could see all their beautiful outfits. It made me feel very proud of my culture.”

In keeping with the school theme for 2016 of #TEK (tolerance, energy and knowledge), the girls showed their tolerance of others, their knowledge of the various cultures from around the world and energetically participated. Sarah McFarlane 6C says, “I was Chinese. The day was really fun and amazing.” Special thanks to Nadene Chetty and her team on Cultural Board.

Cultural Civvies Day truly celebrated each and every culture and showed us all what a Rainbow Nation is really providing an opportunity for everyone to show their love for one another, and truly celebrate diversity. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A Nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”

 May 02, 2016
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