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why do we celebrate day of reconciliation

Why do we celebrate Day of Reconciliation? Ever wondered what it really means to us? There are few countries which dedicate a national public holiday to reconciliation. But then there are few nations with our history of enforced division, oppression and sustained conflict. And fewer still, which have undergone such a remarkable transition to reclaim their humanity. We, the people of South Africa, have made a decisive and irreversible break with the past. We have, in real life, declared our shared allegiance to justice, non-racialism and democracy; our yearning for a peaceful and harmonious nation of equals. This is an excerpt from Nelson Mandelas message on 16 December 1995, the first time South Africa celebrated Day of Reconciliation. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years because of his views. He should have been filled with resentment at the miscarriage of justice known as the Rivonia Trial, but this was no ordinary man. Where hate was meant to grow as a result of years of agony and humiliation, Nelson Mandela chose love. He made a choice to perceive his past differently and respond in a manner which set true reconciliation in motion, and changed an entire nation. During the Apartheid era, 16 December was known was known as Day of the Vow, a public holiday created to commemorate a vow taken by the Voortrekkers. Between the 1930s and 1960s, those who were discriminated against by the nations unfair laws began holding meetings and staging protests on the same day, which saw the birth of Spear of the Nation.


Since then, 16 December has served as a reminder of our struggle to build a nation and ignite unity amongst its people. The rainbow has come to be the symbol of our nation. We are turning the variety of our languages and cultures, once used to divide us, into a source of strength and richness. But we do know that healing the wounds of the past and freeing ourselves of its burden will be a long and demanding task. This Day of Reconciliation celebrates the progress we have made; it reaffirms our commitment; and it measures the challenges. means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice. It means making a success of our plans for reconstruction and development. Therefore, on this December 16, National Day of Reconciliation,
my appeal to you, fellow citizens, is: Let us join hands and build a truly South African nation. So how can we learn from this, and apply the same thinking in our own lives? The true meaning of reconciliation is to overcome the challenges we face through perseverance and dedication, to be humble enough to learn from others, and to learn from our own mistakes. It also teaches us that we dont have to have the same negative perception as others just to fit in.


Reconciliation means being part of the battle to build our own future, not being on the sidelines. It means taking charge of our own destiny, regardless of our past. It doesnt matter how you choose to spend Day of Reconciliation, but make sure youre a part of the celebration! Remember the people who fought for reconciliation and learn from their values. Lets celebrate this day and spread the love, and lets make unity a part of ourselves as a nation. Happy Heritage Day!!! For Afrikaners, 16 December was commemorated as the, also known as Day of the Covenant or Dingaan's dag (Dingaan's Day). The Day of the Vow was a religious holiday commemorating the victory over the at the in 1838, and is still celebrated by some Afrikaners. On that day, 470 Voortrekkers were attacked in an early morning battle led by generals. The Voortrekkers defeated the Zulus who numbered in the 10-thousands and during the battle, 3,000 Zulu warriors were killed. The event became a "rallying point for the development of, culture and identity. " The religious significance of the event, where it is called Day of the Covenant or Day of the Vow, involves the belief that the Voortrekker victory of the Zulus was ordained by the. The General Synod of the Afrikaners' Natal Churches chose 16 December as "an day of thanksgiving by all its congregations" in 1864. Later, in 1894, Dingane's Day was declared a public holiday by the Government of the.


During the, 16 December continued to be celebrated as the Day of the Vow and the Day of the Covenant. In 1952, Dingane's Day was changed to Day of the Covenant and in 1980 was changed to The Day of the Vow. The in was erected on 16 December 1949 to commemorate Dingane's Day. The last year Afrikaners celebrated Day of the Vow was in 1994. The transition from Day of the Vow to Day of Reconciliation was viewed with mixed emotions for Afrikaners. Africans who did not have the right to after the protested on 16 December 1910. Other protests against the government dealing with racial discrimination continued to be held on 16 December. In 1929, 1930 and 1934, anti-pass demonstrations were held by the (CPSA) on that day. The All African Convention (AAC) was held during the same time in 1935, covering dates 15 December through 18 December. Much later, when efforts of passive protest and resistance against apartheid had been unsuccessful, the (ANC) decided to form a military or armed group. The decision to moved to armed resistance happened after the ANC was banned by the government. Nelson Mandela believed that was not working to stop Apartheid, and advocated acts of. The date of 16 December is the anniversary of the 1961 founding of ("Spear of the Nation" or MK), the armed wing of the ANC. On that day, Umkhonto we Sizwe enacted its "first acts of sabotage" which included bomb blasts against government buildings in, and.


Also on 16 December 1961, the Umkhonto we Sizwe distributed leaflets describing how the group "will carry on the struggle for freedom and democracy by new methods, which are necessary to complement the actions of the established national liberation organsations. " When Apartheid ended, it was decided to keep 16 December as a public holiday, but to infuse it "with the purpose of fostering reconciliation and national unity. " It was established by the government in 1994. was part of the group of politicians that helped start the idea for the holiday. On 16 December 1995, the first celebration took place. The first meeting of the also took place on 16 December 1995. In an address in 1995, Archbishop described the holiday as serving the need of healing the wounds of Apartheid. The holiday is also used to celebrate minority cultural groups in South Africa, such as the. South African President, in 2009, also stressed that the holiday was meant to also promote "non-sexism. " The day is also the sixteenth day of the South African summer holiday period. It is the first of four public holidays observed at the height of summer in the, along with, and. Many small businesses close down and employees go on leave over this period.

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