Expressing Our Heritage in the Digital Age

10 September 2014 | by flint

Expressing Our Heritage in the Digital Age

It doesn’t matter how far across the globe you travel from, or even how far you travel to, there is hardly any experience like the one you’ll have once you set foot on South African soil. South Africa is a diverse country with vibrant people and endless possibilities. You don’t even have to look much further than social media to see just how much the country has developed. More South Africans are now accessing the internet, and judging from the latest social media statistics, more South Africans are gaining access to smartphones.

 

The growth of social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube (which has now become a bigger social media network than Mxit) also gives an interesting insight into the way in which South Africans are engaging on social media, the conversations we’re driving and the type of content we’re consuming. With the country increasingly developing into modernised societies, South Africans now have the opportunity to express their individuality in ways they may not have been able to in the past. However, there is still an undeniable sense of solidarity and identifiable culture that many South Africans cling to and use as a way to connect with others.

 

Being South African is anything but a dull experience and many South Africans connect over the unique culture. We’re a nation filled with quirks, a fascinating diversity and a rich history. Wherever two or more South Africans meet in the world, these points become our connecting line, and it seems that it is no different online. Just looking at the most watched videos or subscribed channels by South Africans on Youtube, it is interesting to note that the top Youtubers are personalities or brands that have one common thread – culture.

 

From music to distinctly South African humour, it is evident that what we as South Africans enjoy is the ability to share our tastes and experiences as well as identify and connect with each other. Thankfully, something we can all be sure South Africans have is a sense of humour about our complex and colourful country.

 

From everyday people…

 

 

… to celebrities…

 

 

… and brands…

 

 

… we are not afraid to have a good laugh at ourselves.

 

Just search the hashtag #ProudlySouthAfrican or #MadeInSA and watch as your newsfeed bursts into a media display that is heart-warming, humorous, vibrant and multi-cultured. Every day South Africans take to social media just to express something about their heritage; from the weather and people to our braais and biltongs, there is no end to the amount of tweets, notes and Instragram hashtags that we can dedicate to being #ProudlySouthAfrican.

 

In honour of Heritage Day, I asked our Flint Studio team what it is that they loved about being in South Africa. Here’s what they had to say:

 

“I would say the amazing mix of all the different cultures, always learning interesting things about our way of life and of course the awesome weather!” – Debbie

 

“I love the weather. Plus it’s never boring here, especially not in Jozi” – Kate

 

“Rugby (the history and culture that comes along with it) and our beautiful sunny country with the wildlife and landscapes. Plus, there is nothing better than a local South African braai.” – Alicia

 

“I like that we don’t have natural disasters like typhoons and quakes (usually). I love the amazing scenery, e.g. the Drakensberg Mountains, the wildlife, our crazy SA accents/slang and of course BILTONG” – Lisa

 

“The women… and cheap car rentals” – Oscar

 

“I love South Africa. I would welcome the opportunity to travel the whole country. We have a range of diversity and even with our problems, as any country has, we are proud of our diversity. We have beauty and history and a world of knowledge which is unique to us. We also have unique languages and cultures. We’ve had the pleasure to have one of the greatest men alive call himself a South African and we are a young democracy so even with the pitfalls of the past, the past has built our country into the unique personality it has grown into. I have travelled abroad and I’ve never experienced the kind of culture and warmth we have here.” – Celeste

 

“I enjoy the smell of braais in the air in Spring… It’s pretty unique” – Bjorn

 

“The weather, our colloquialisms, the cheap booze (compared to Europe ours is way cheaper) and our WINE!!” – Andre

 

“The weather, the open spaces and the ability to just get outside and have a braai or swim” – Ross

 

“The thing I enjoy most about South Africa is the people, and feeling that we are developing into something awesome. We’re a country that is beginning to find its own way and its pretty rad to be here and experience that.” – Brian

 

“The sun, the beaches, the weather, the funny things South Africans say, Jozi Shore, the hot chicks and Kiffboytjies, the accent from all the different types of people, Table Mountain, Franschoek, the creative third world problem solving skills, how cheap everything is compared to the US and Europe, having help around the house to do daily chores, slow Cape Town drivers, fast Joburg drivers, the incredible opportunities in SA and Africa, and that we are the last frontier for entrepreneurs” – Ken

 

“The weather, the opportunities and the beautiful country-side… It’s home.” – Desiree

 

“Craft beer, braais and the bush” – Rhys

 

No matter what the opinion on South Africa, here or abroad, our country continues to develop – culturally, economically and digitally. We’re high-fiving, fist-pumping and “heita hola”-ing across provinces and oceans in ways we’ve never done before.

 

Happy Heritage Day South Africa!

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