South Africa is known for its ethnic diversity and with 11 official languages, the country’s melting pot of cultures often astonishes visitors.
Often referred to as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, South Africa is home to a fascinating mix of citizens. There are the Nguni (comprising the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Sazi people), the San people, the Sotho Stana, the Tsonga and the Venda. Then there are the people of Europeans, as well as people of mixed raced and Asian descent. There are also hybrid mixtures of different cultures, and an overarching South African culture which ensures that, no matter what a person’s cultural heritage, they are, at heart, proudly South African. Indeed, as South Africa’s democracy evolves, it is becoming a more diverse but integrated country and cultural diversity continues to be one of its strongest assets.
South Africa is a country where creative expression flourishes and its endless cultural diversity is embodied through traditional and modern interpretations of songs, dance, theatre, design, fashion and food.
South Africa’s cultural diversity is expressed in a number of ways, one of the most prominent of is the different cultural influences on that goes into the food that we eat. One of the national dishes, a ‘bobotie’ is Malay in origin while Indian curries are also a favourite. Nothing is more South African than a braai, whether it is snoek on the coals or a ‘shisa nyama’ in Manguang (Bloemfontein). South Africans also love their baked rusks from the Afrikaans kitchen, the bunny show from the corner shop and their pap (maize porridge).
South African music speaks volumes about its ability to celebrate all aspects of its diverse culture. First and foremost is the multilingual national anthem, ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’. Elsewhere, you will hear kwaito (African house music), jazz, hip hop, Afrikaans rock, African gospel, classic rock, pop, traditional drums, Afrikaans sakkie sakkie, and many more. Local artists like Freshly Ground, Die Antwoord, the Parlatones and the Soweto Gospel Choir have sold millions of albums and are internationally acclaimed.
Fashion is one of the most creative forms of expression and one where South Africans love to show off their diverse culture. African heritage meets Western trends in a stunning fusion on the streets of any South African city.
Cultural Heritage Sites
South Africa has a depth of history and culture that is untainted and unsurpassable. Whether you are visiting magical Table Mountain, Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was kept prisoner for 27 years, the Congo caves, the Cradle of Human Kind in Gauteng which is the world’s most important fossil site, the Wine Routes of the Western Cape, or the sleepy coastal and rural towns to learn from the locals, your experience is bound to be authentic and you will be touched and educated.
Dreams To Reality
Dreams To Reality is a volunteer organisation that offers you the opportunity to explore South Africa’s cultural diversity and heritage while making a difference as a volunteer. Based in Cape Town, the creative capital of South Africa, you will have easy access to explore different cultural experiences and landscapes while making a notable difference in people’s lives. Dreams To Reality offers placement in two local communities near Cape Town, ensuring that you will interact with local cultures, while your weekends are free and you can explore the majesty of the country at your own pace.
Join the cultural exploration. Click here to become a volunteer with Dreams To Reality.