By Lesedi Ntuli
For some students, the intention of Heritage Day is still a blur – but for others, it is an occasion of celebrating cultural diversity, and a day to understand why cultural heritage is important, and something to be proud of. The annual Show Me Your Roots event, organised by the Rhodes International Office and Zulu Society, can been seen as a platform to give students this opportunity to experience diverse cultures through a display of traditional foods, drinks and attire and to celebrate their own and other cultures.
While the hall was filled to overflowing with warm smiles and the most peculiar yet delicious foods and beer, I was delighted to see an array of eye-catching and colourful traditional attire worn by the students to represent their unique cultures.
Students attending the event were given tickets at the entrance and were stamped by the different country representatives at the different food stalls. Tables were set up for all the African countries where they could arrange their foods into a delightful display for guests to easily see. Some of the dishes which were available include: Khemere, a drink made from ginger originating in Lesotho, Serobe, a popular dish made from goats or sheep lungs and intestines by Botswanans, and Madora, a Zimbabwean dish made out of edible caterpillars.
As guests made their way through the venue, background music at low volume played while others enjoyed their food and chatted away with friends. There were also performances by the Hindu Student Society (HSS), Zion (poet), and Dlala Majombos (a dance group from Joza). Later, the guests experienced a fun-filled fashion show, giving students the opportunity to show off their traditional attire.
The festive atmosphere, along with my belly full from the delicious selection of traditional ‘home-cooked’ dishes, allow me to firmly say that Africa is definitely a melting pot of cultural foods, drinks, dance and music.