Why we should remember to celebrate Heritage Day and teach our kids about it

The Irish have St Patrick’s Day, the French have Bastille Day, the Australians have Australia Day and we have Heritage Day, also known as National Braai Day.

Originally celebrated in Kwazulu-Natal as Shaka Day, commemorating the uniting of all Zulu clans into one nation, by the legendary King Shaka Zulu, the 24th of September has since become a day for all South Africans to observe. It’s a day to celebrate the richness and radiant diversity of our roots – an accepting of all people and races in our ‘Rainbow Nation’ as an asset and a unique national identity.

The introduction of National Braai Day in 2005 by Jan Scannell, was founded on the simple idea of bringing people together around a fire to share and celebrate their culture and heritage. After all, what could be more uniting than food, drinks and the company of friends and family?

We are a proudly South African brand, but beyond that, our team consists of South Africans from different walks of life who celebrate each other in the spirit of Ubuntu. This Heritage Day, let’s teach our children some fun and interesting things about our beautiful country and share with them why we are proud to be South African.

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Here are some brilliant Braai Day ideas:

 

Start by hosting a ‘bring & braai’ feast and invite everyone! (We have a brand new Braai Caddy for all enthusiastic Braai Masters to use along with their happy helpers).

 

For some recipe inspiration, try these quick and easy sides and desserts for the big day:

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Grilled Halloumi Salad and Chourizo & Asparagus

Grill thick slices of halloumi on the braai and serve on a bed of fresh salad greens and sliced avocado. Top with homemade parmesan croutons (oven bake small pieces of sourdough bread sprinkled with olive oil and grated parmesan cheese). Drizzle with a vibrant and hearty dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, chopped red chilli, halved cherry or sundried tomatoes and fresh chopped basil.

Lightly char sliced chourizo and fresh asparagus spears on the braai and serve with paprika-infused honey and lemon wedges.

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Let the little ones help with something sweet:

Doughnut S’mores and Smoky Strawberry Sticks

For a delicious twist on an old favourite, slice ring doughnuts in half, braai sugary sides down for 2-3 minutes until just charred and allow to cool slightly then sandwich together with vanilla ice cream and strawberry jam or chocolate ice cream and caramel. Serve immediately.

Thread strawberries onto skewers and brush with oil. Place on the braai, sprinkle with a little soft brown sugar and cook for 3-4 minutes until just starting to char. Set aside to cool and then scatter with small fresh basil leaves. Serve with a dip of whipped cream cheese and sweetened fresh cream.

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Children will love to dress up in traditional clothes and make their own South African flags on material or paper with craft paint. They can even face paint a flag on each other.

Teach them a few new words in one of the 11 national languages and see how many South African heritage sites, animals, birds and flowers they can name.

A wonderful way to embrace each other is to remember the Ubuntu philosophy – a reconnecting and affirming of each other – humanity towards each other. “I am because you are.”

“Shisa nyama”, “kom ons braai”, let’s come together and celebrate in true South African style!

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