Day of the Vow: True reconciliation lies in conserving and celebrating all heritage

Heloïse Denner

True reconciliation will only be achieved in South Africa once everyone demonstrates mutual respect for each other's differences, those things that make us unique, like our language, culture and heritage.

Reconciliation does not lie in compelling the various cultural groups to sacrifice those things that are true to them. That is not reconciliation, but cultural genocide instead.

Every person must be afforded the opportunity and space to express his or her cultural heritage.

Afrikaners who opt to commemorate the 1838 Vow must be allowed to do so proudly and without shame.

The Day of the Vow (Geloftedag) cannot be set against Reconciliation Day and the two must not be played off against each other. Instead, the opportunity must be used to facilitate a win-win situation for everyone.

The ANC government is trying to impose artificial reconciliation on the people of South Africa by means of transformation targets and quotas, while the government itself is implementing the complete opposite in practice.

This is done through implementing discriminatory legislation and by making divisive and inflammatory statements.

Afrikaners, and the Afrikaner youth in particular, are being told that their history is nothing but a blemish on South Africa's reputation and that they ought to be ashamed of their heritage. Nothing can be further from the truth, though.

The youth must be taught that Afrikaners have, with the aid of the Almighty, overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and have endured and survived the most difficult of times – and they ought to be proud of it.

Afrikaners themselves must take a stand against the oppression and degradation of their heritage by setting the example of demonstrating mutual respect.

A new message must be carried out: Just like other minority groups, Afrikaners ought to be proud of their heritage, they ought to celebrate their heritage, and true reconciliation will only be achieved once all cultural groups in South Africa are treated equally and with respect.

All cultural groups in South Africa must be afforded a place in the sun so that none of them feel threatened or marginalised.

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