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Posts tagged ‘heritage day’

A month in photos: September 2013

  • My mama’s traditional Sesotho/Swati wedding on our property! Long story short – my mama’s husband (Victor Mathebula) passed away around two years ago. They had their “white” wedding in 1993. (South Africans call a modern wedding – white dress, tux, church – wedding a “white” wedding.) They planned to do the traditional wedding later during their marriage to honor the ancestors and keep with tradition. Unfortunately, Baba Mathebula passed away before this could happen. However, the two families – Mathebula (Swati) and Skhosana (Sesotho) celebrated together. Victor Mathebula’s brother stood in for him as the groom. My mama first wore traditional Sesotho attire to represent her heritage then switched over to Swati, as she was accepted into the Mathebula clan. South Africa is known as the “rainbow nation” because of the diversity of languages and cultures. This wedding was in a Zulu/Sesotho village and brought Zulu, Sesotho and Swati culture and languages together. How neat, right?! This wedding happened right on our lawn and will be one of those days of my service I’ll never forget. My friends Michael and Shawn attended as well; Michael bonded with my host brother Nduduzo last time he visited with Katrina, so he came back to visit all of us and brought Shawn along.
  • Mid-service training at the Peace Corps office in Pretoria and Khayalethu backpackers; first time I’ve seen my cohort in six months. Nice to see everyone. The 26 26s!
  • Visiting Siyabonga (Will) in Rorke’s Drift and adventuring around

A month in photos: September 2012

Every month, I’ll post a gallery with around 10-20 pictures of things, people and places I’ve seen. Uploading pictures onto this blog takes an hour-two hours and costs lots of imali, so I’ve decided to share pictures only once a month (yes, it takes that long to upload. And no, I don’t get frustrated because my threshold of patience has expanded greatly since I’ve been here).

My first month at site has been a lot of taking trips to town to slowly buy things for my new home and going to school every day (post to come on the dynamics of South African schools soon). Nonetheless, I still caught some neat things on camera! ____________________________________________________________________

My geographic group of PCVs visited Mangeni Falls, a huge waterfall that overlooks a landscape of mountains and clear blue skies. It was a Sunday of exploration of where we’re living these next two years and also a great reunion among all the Americans in the area.

I also got to see so many bright colors and hear rhythmic songs at my school’s celebration of Heritage Day. Heritage Day is a South African national holiday on September 24 that encourages diverse people of the “rainbow nation” to celebrate their heritage by eating traditional food, singing and dancing to traditional songs and wearing traditional clothes. Learners dressed up in traditional Zulu and Sotho clothing to honor their heritage; all the beading and bright clothes are Zulu and the longer and neutral-colored dresses, large head wraps and shoulder blankets are Sotho. Next year on Heritage Day I’ll be rockin’ the Zulu beads and skirts — promise!

Taking pictures and recording video and audio of the songs and dances on Heritage Day made me feel like a student journalist again. I haven’t felt the “reporting rush” in God knows how long and it was exhilarating to get that rush of joy, curiosity, excitement and attentiveness back for an hour. I have no doubt that the more cultural exchanges I witness during my time here will keep that reporting spirit alive! I can’t upload videos on here anymore because my Internet connection is so slow, but I’ll try to publish some audio of Zulu songs on here for ya’ll to listen to.

Attempting to make guacamole and tortillas for my host family to try tonight (that is if the power doesn’t go out again — thunder and rainstorms today),

“Lizzie” “Mpho” Mathebula-Warden