Athens: South African Heritage Day celebration
Ambassador Makgetla and Guest Speaker Ms Luli Callinicos
The South African Embassy in Greece celebrated Heritage Day with the theme “Reclaiming, Restoring and celebrating South African heritage” on Thursday, 12 September 2013 by remembering the heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Ambassador Makgetla and the Guest Speaker: Ms Luli Callinicos, gave emphasis on South Africa, the “Rainbow Nation”, with its 11 official languages. South African music is characterised by its fusion of diverse musical forms while South African dance is unique in its vitality and energy. South Africa’s very rich culinary tradition and its renowned fine wines from the Western Cape make South Africa unique among other nations.
The South African Ambassador, HE Sophonia Rapulane Makgetla in his welcoming remarks, spoke about the importance of Reclaiming, Restoring and celebrating South African heritage. In welcoming the guest speaker to the stage, Ambassador Makgetla, described Ms Luli Callinicos as a historian who was active during the apartheid years, writing popularly accessible books on labour and social history to inform ordinary people about South Africa’s past, and guiding them towards the future. She served as a Council Member of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) and was involved in a number of heritage committees and advisory panels for the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Science and Technology. Currently she is a council member of the South African Heritage Resources Agency and is a trustee of Freedom Park in Pretoria, and also a Council member of Robben Island Museum, A World Heritage Site. In 1997, Ms Callinicos was honoured with the Order of the Phoenix by the Hellenic Republic. In addition, she serves as a member of the South African chapter of the Repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles.
In her presentation, Ms Luli Callinicos described the foundations of heritage and culture and how they helped overcome the terrible danger of self-destruction that faced South Africa on the eve of its democracy. South Africa has a holistic approach to culture and heritage. Sport, art, food, dress, music, song and dance in all their diversity are inseparable and we tend to view all these aspects of human activity as part of heritage.
SA Embassy Athens, Greece