Mdantsane is a unique, vibrating, eclectic, African place. Follow us on a pilgrimage to Mdantsane to discover the street culture, fashion, food, people, music, homes, taverns, humor, businesses, history and what's hot in the second biggest township in South-Africa, located close to the city of East London in the Province of the Eastern Cape. Join us on this journey while we capture the spirit of this amazing place for you in the here and in the now. We are going to introduce you to many individuals, artists, musicians, groups and associations.
They are the HEROES OF DAILY LIFE. They are the people who create, innovate and improve their life and their stories deserve to be told. This is a place for only good and positive stories of humanity, that will send out a message of courage, endurance and strength to the world through their pictures and words.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Traditional Xhosa Wedding Gifts In Miniature Form

Another Xhosa Tradition To Remember

It was heritage day just recently but we could not come up with a meaningful story. We were looking for a story, that is not repetitive of all the other stories. But now we have one, that we think is worth telling. 
On the African continent many people of all sorts of skin-colors, nationalities and convictions are busy trying to preserve traditional African culture. Look around, you can see them everywhere! Many of them are not even affiliated with the so so callled International Development Agencies or Organisations. 

They do this because they believe in a common cause. They are passionate and they believe in an African identity, that differs from region to region, but that nevertheless is distinct and unique.
Each tradition in each country of the African continent, be it a specific language, a poem, clothing, jewelry, song, the way an item is made or anything else, that is preserved, kept alive or remembered contributes to the great African identity, that must not be lost.

It is not easy to preserve African culture and traditions because in most African countries American influences swamp out many traditions and beliefs. The irony is that American culture is readily accepted by the younger generation in Africa, while Afro Americans are on a quest to discover their African roots. 
So it is a fiery topic. 

A great percentage of the inhabitants of Mdantsane are of a Xhosa origin. Most families have relatives in the Transkei. But what is Xhosa culture and how can one preserve it? It is so manifold and rich! Which traditions can be left behind and which ones have to be remembered and preserved.

One lady has done a lot of thinking and a great job in this regard.
Annegret Mostert has created a symbolic XHOSA wedding gift. Annegret has had produced the traditional Xhosa wedding gifts in miniature form, assembled them as a picture, elegantly framed under glass
When given to a young couple on their wedding day, this gift serves as a reminder how this day was celebrated traditionally.

Annegret Mostert, was born in Africa and has worked most of her life as an occupational therapist with people with disabilities. Listening to her is like opening a treasure chest of knowledge. 
She has worked many years for REHAB, the non-profit organisation, that we have introduced in an earlier article as a consultant. Her great passion is the preservation of traditional African cultures and African craftsman's techniques such as basketry. And as such she also focused her efforts on the Xhosa culture. 

She spent years working with women's organisations in the Transkei. And she has created a very unique wedding gift, that can remind the younger generations of the traditions of their parents.


In an interview Annegret said: " This gift is for the people who come originally from the Transkei but who have moved to Johannesburg or other parts of South Africa. With time the younger generations loose their connection to the Xhosa culture"

With the framed picture comes an exact description, where, why and how it was created. The production of this wedding installation picture helps women in the rural areas to get additional income.

So, if you know someone who is getting married, give it a thought because by giving this gift to a couple you start a whole process of remembrance and preservation, thereby enabling the ones who have stayed in the rural areas to also live a little bit a better life. 

This was my Sunday morning Sermon to you ! We wish you all a happy and blessed Sunday with your families and loved ones.

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