It’s not often that one of our own, at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), is invited to speak to the child and youth care workers on the importance of Heritage Day, and understanding where each of us come from.
Mr Andy Balaram from the Office of Community Engagement (OCE) in Institutional Advancement represented UJ at the Heritage Day celebration hosted by the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW), where he shared his experiences and knowledge of South Africa’s culture.
Balaram, decked up in his traditional Hindu attire, shared his understanding and experiences of living in a culturally diverse South Africa; a society that exemplifies how culture has the power to build.
“South Africa is known for its ethnic and cultural diversity, and that cultural diversity is one of our greatest assets,” Mr Balaram said.
“Our heritage is very unique and precious because it helps us to define our cultural identity, which lies at the heart of our spiritual well-being, and has the power to build our nation. It is this heritage that has the potential to affirm our diverse cultures and in so doing shape our national character as a “rainbow nation,” he added.
Mr Balaram’s speech also coincided with UJ’s hosting of a Diversity Week on all four of the UJ campuses in celebration of Heritage Day, which saw people of many students and staff from an array of cultures share their culture, traditions and cuisines.