Cultural tolerance starts young

Pupils at Umatata Community Junior Secondary School at Police Camp on Tuesday celebrated Heritage Day. School cultural ambassador Anathi Nokhwabaza is in front.
Pupils at Umatata Community Junior Secondary School at Police Camp on Tuesday celebrated Heritage Day. School cultural ambassador Anathi Nokhwabaza is in front.
Image: Lulamile Feni

To deal with social ills including racism, xenophobia, tribalism, identity crisis, religious hatred, and cultural superiority and inferiority complexes, children must be taught from a young age about good citizenship and patriotism.

This is according to Umtata Community Junior Secondary School principal Lulu Mhlontlo, who believes you cannot start young enough when it comes to teaching the right thing.

Mhlontlo was speaking during the school’s Heritage Day celebration on Tuesday.

Pupils brought traditional food such as iinkobe (maize kernels) and traditional artifacts including amakhuko (traditional mats) with them.

“We must not wait until it is too late to instill cultural respect and tolerance of other people’s cultures and customs, patriotism, and the idea that all cultures are important and equal – not a single one is superior or inferior to another,” said Mhlontlo.

She said the motto written in Khoisan language of the present coat of arms of SA that was introduced on Freedom Day 27 April 2000, which translates literally to “diverse people unite”, should serve as the starting point to uniting the people in the country.

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