December 16 – Day of Reconciliation in South Africa

Posted on December 16, 2017

This public holiday was created in 1994 in an effort to start a healing process. You see, the nation had just (finally!) ended apartheid, which was a system of segregation and discrimination that had been used in South Africa to keep black people (and other people of color) separate from white people and in an inferior position as far as power and money were concerned. Apartheid had been the rule of the land for about half a century, and the wounds were going to be hard to heal...

...The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, working with President Nelson Mandela, carefully chose a date that was already meaningful to (white) Afrikaners and to (black) Africans.

The idea was to create more unity.

The idea of forgiveness of the past is a nice one...
But healing old wounds isn't just simple.
And forgiving is not the same as forgetting.
And facing the truth is not the same as offering
a way to make up for the past.

Some of the festivities include parades and ceremonies. In the past, a statue of Mandela was unveiled, inscriptions of war heroes' names were honored, and a victim of ethnic strife was honored with a tombstone.

Children are the hope for the future.
Can we raise kids to love more than fear and hate?
Can we give them equal access and equal opportunity?

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