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why do we celebrate youth day in south africa

The day is celebrated on June 16 every year. The day is celebrated in order to recognize the role of youth in the liberation of South Africa from the Apartheid regime. The grounds of the movement lay in a 1974 official order which made Afrikaans compulsory in schools. The order stated that Afrikaans be used in conjunction with English for teaching in schools. Certain subjects like social studies, mathematics and algebra were required to be taught in Afrikaans while others like home science and general science were required to be taught in English. The use of local languages was prohibited was these subjects citing a provision in constitution which laid down Afrikaans and English as the official languages of the country. Afrikaans was largely seen by people as the language of the oppressor and it resulted in growing resentment in teachers as well as students. It was on April 30, 1976 when the resentment crossed all thresholds and the students of Orlando West Junior High School refused to go to school.


On the morning of June 16, 1976, thousands of black students went on a protest rally from their schools to Orlando Stadium. Although the rally was intended to be a peace protest, things soon got out of control and riots were seen all over the place. Hundreds of students were killed during the protest. Although this youth revolution did not see the taking back of the language order immediately, it did see a turning point in South Africa s liberation campaign which ultimately saw the downfall of the apartheid government there. The Youth Day in South Africa is celebrated in memory of all the youngsters who lost their lives during the protest, especially the death of Hector Pieterson, a 12 year old student who was killed during the uprising.


The day is celebrated with musical concerts around the country in order to celebrate the energy of youth. The day also sees various educational discussions being organized by school and college students around the country. Various youth oriented non- profit organizations also organize awareness campaigns on this day to make the youth of the country aware of the challenges in the current environment of the country. It was the Soweto Uprising which laid the grounds for the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of the Apartheid regime in the country.
Youth Day in India is celebrated on 12 January on the birthday of. In 1984, the Government of India declared and decided to observe the Birthday of (12 January, according to the English calendar) as National Youth Day every year from 1985 onwards. To quote from the Government of India's Communication, БIt was felt that the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.


Б Swami Vivekananda's Birthday, according to Indian Almanac (Vishuddha Siddhanta Almanac) is on Pausha Krishna Saptami tithi, which falls on different dates of English Calendar every year. This is observed in various centres of and Mission in a traditional manner which includes mangalarati, special worship, (fire-ritual), meditation, devotional songs, religious discourses, sandhyarati (versper service in the evenings), and so on. The National Youth Day is observed all over India at schools and collegesБwith processions, speeches, recitations, music, youth conventions, seminars, presentation, competitions in essay-writing, recitations, speeches, music, sports, and other programs on 12 January every year.

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