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Celebrating kinship across differences on National Heritage Day.

Today, on the 24th of September, we are celebrating Heritage Day by recognising the cultural wealth of our nation. South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people.

"A robust understanding of history, with its truths and biases, is central to our understanding of ourselves, our world and

our place in it" - Maria Popova

We recently came across an article on the blog of Bill Gates and were inspired by his interview with the Washington State Teacher of the Year, Brooke Brown. With passion and determination, Brooke is helping children to build and foster identity through multimedia storytelling. She asks her learners to think about what influences how they see the world through the lens of history and their own lived experiences. Children are also encouraged to share their stories with their classmates. In the classroom, they practice the art of listening, holding space for each other and being accepting and tolerant of others' stories.

"We're historicising where we are today, by looking at the past.

My students are learning how to love themselves and their

past as we work to build a more beautiful future that

includes all people." - Brooke Brown

To know is to care. Audre Lorde so aptly stated that "we require not a false sense of similarity, but a true sense of kinship across difference." Local language reflects cultural diversity and our stories create a sense of belonging and social cohesion. At the Otto Foundation, we present our children with a diverse range of locally relevant books that celebrate the stories of our continent. Our library lessons encourage dialogue and discussions within a safe and comforting space.

Let's continue to celebrate culture and our heritage with stories!

Happy Heritage Day,

Team Otto Foundation

A printable Heritage Day worksheet!

Please feel free to download our Heritage Day worksheet, inspired by the article we read on the blog of Bill Gates. Gates interviews the Washington State teacher of the year, Brooke Brown.

Download PDF • 367KB


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