UNITY IN DIVERSITY

Call it Intercultural Day or Heritage Day, the fact remains there is no better place to be on this particular day other than at St. John Vianney Seminary. For the past weeks, different cultural groups were making their preparations for the big celebration. Every group wanted to make sure that they put their best foot forward from the performances to the menu. But the final preparations will always be the brewing of different traditional drinks, i.e. Ginger Beer, Chocha, Umqombothi, etc.

Finally the big day arrived! As early as the Morning Prayers, some brothers were already showing off their traditional attires (anticipating what was to happen in the afternoon). Just before we ended meditation, the Rector (Fr. P. Manci) had few words to share but the message was clear that we should enjoy the day responsibly. Fast-forward to after lectures; the fire for cooking was already blazing as well as the black traditional three legged pots. Everyone made sure they performed their duties to the best of their abilities. If you didn’t know better you could swear that we were still in the spirit of the Sports Day which was last Saturday. This was owing to the running around that was taking place; especially the 100m “relay” between the kitchen and the fire place.

Amidst such busyness we had to start the Heritage Day celebration with Holy Mass at 3 pm sharp. And Fr. D. Vilakati (the main celebrant of the day) stressed the point of putting God first in everything we do. For the very first time during mass the Nama Language (of the Khoekhoe people) made its debut. Moving on to the second part of the celebration it was the “Spirituality of the Stomach” (traditional food). One must confess that the people were spoilt for choice as to what to include in their plates.  Choosing from the following menu was going to be difficult: Curry bunnies vetkoeks, steam bread, mashotsa, pork, inhloko, beef, isibindi, tripe, fried chips, lit’lakoana tsa Nku, etc. And on the other hand one cannot mention liquid refreshments without including: Chocha, home brewed wine, ginger beer, uMqombothi and ice blocks from the Loxion Culture group.

Lastly, the platform was set and the stage in the hall was waiting in anticipation for the performances of the groups. The Western group was the first to render and item and introduction the people to the heritage to the Portuguese. The audience was kept entertained from the performances from the Basothos to the Xhosas, Zulus and the Limpopo group.  Some performances left the audience in a state of LOL (laughing out loud). But without any biasness, one should take one’s hat off for the Loxion Culture group since it was their debut performance but above all it left the audience wanting more. The audience could not have asked for a better closure. Indeed it was a Grand Finale! The Baba of a Philosophical Kind (Fr. R. April) took the audience for some Karate practice. Surely from now onwards every student will be careful around SJV’s own “Mr. Miyagi”.

W.S.B CHANGWE

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