Articles tagged with: culture

Culture of ukuhlolwa (virginity testing) – the pros and cons

on Friday, 31 January 2014. Posted in Heritage, Arts & Culture

It would be foolhardy to discard every cultural practice just because it’s perceived to be old and not that “classy”. One cultural practice in question is ukuhlolwa, virginity testing. This cultural practice is prevalent mainly in remote rural communities of KwaZulu Natal. In this practice, young maidens avail themselves to elderly women to be checked if they are engaging in penetrative sexual activities. In a country with high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, and where abstinence is preached as a prevention strategy for HIV transmission a culture of ukuhlolwa could be a solution. The question is whether the practice is done within acceptable hygiene and human rights standards.


Our country and cultural diplomacy for Africa

on Friday, 31 January 2014. Posted in Heritage, Arts & Culture

Cultural diplomacy is very important for South Africa in its role in Africa. This is about building a continent that safeguards its heritage and encourages its arts as part of sustainable development. African countries have culture that defines their respective national identities. It is through individual country’s cultural diplomacy that the country is able to engage with fellow African countries on issues of cultural exchange to build cultural relationships. The SA Ministry of Arts wants to use cultural diplomacy to “build the African continent that treasures democracy”. Having been recently given the responsibility to lead the AU, South Africa cannot afford to fail on cultural diplomacy.


Social cohesion through arts, heritage and culture

on Friday, 31 January 2014. Posted in Heritage, Arts & Culture

Art is always used as a weapon to challenge norms in liberal societies. Those who resort to art to challenge certain issues find themselves in the firing line most of the time. South Africa is a country with deep scars from our divisive past. Having mended social tensions through artistic creativity displayed during the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 1996 AFCON tournaments, the social cohesion showed signs of disintegration when the Brett Murray’s Spear portrait and Zapiro’s cartoon of President Jacob Zuma’s erect penis hit the public space. The Department of Arts & Culture has recently organised a conference to mend social cohesion.


The power of arts 1 – Telling the South African story through storytelling

on Friday, 31 January 2014. Posted in Heritage, Arts & Culture

Once upon a time grandmothers would seat their grandchildren around the fireplace in the evenings and start telling them folk stories. Some would be stories about tricksters and how they would end up being punished. Others would be stories about greed, i.e. how big animals would dupe smaller and weaker animals and help themselves to all the foods. There would also be pure entertainment stories and the audiences would be left in stitches. The culture of storytelling still prevails in South Africa. The added value nowadays is that storytelling is a professional art form, and artists are making a living out of it.


Visual arts in South Africa – taking its rightful place in the Heritage, Arts & Culture sector

on Friday, 31 January 2014. Posted in Heritage, Arts & Culture

Painting. Sculpture. Photography. Filmmaking. Architecture. Crafts. These are forms of art that are categorised as Visual Arts in the Heritage, Arts & Culture sector. In modern terminology these artistic forms also embrace fine arts as well as applied and decorative arts. Generally, art in South Africa is understood as performing arts, i.e. music, dance, theatre and/or drama. Visual arts are often relegated to secondary forms of art. In fact visual art is often interpreted as only paintings and statuettes. It is therefore critical that resources are invested to popularise visual art as integral part of heritage, arts and culture industry.


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