Recently, the Zulu Reed Dance Festival took place in South Africa, also called Umhalga. The festival marks the beginning of Spring, and takes place at the beginning of September at the eNyokeni Palace. It celebrates the Zulu culture through dance and music as the families of young girls come together. The older women of the community teach the younger girls respect for their body’s, and how to act as an adult. Not only does this event honor the Zulu traditions, but it also allows the young girls to be educated in social issues, such as the spread of HIV.
One of the main events at the Festival is the reed presenting ceremony. The young girls’ dress in colorful, beaded outfits, and they take a cut reed to present to the king. This is to represent the importance of reeds to the Zulu people. Tradition tells that the ancestor of the Zulu people came up out of a bed of reeds, and reeds are used to weave huts, mats, and baskets. While the young girls are the main focus of the festival, the festival incorporates the entire community, as the men sing and have fake fights.
"The Zulu Reed Dance." – South African
Tourism. Southafrica.net, n.d. Web. 21
The continent of Africa is such a diverse and amazing place. But in a world that labels this place as just a developing country, many will never see the beauty contained in this continent.
It has countries, each with its own unique identity, that all make up a whole. In fact, in some countries, there are some very different groups of people, depending on the area of the country.
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HISTORY TEACHES US TO BEWARE OF THE EXCITATIONS OF THE LIBERATED AND
THE INJUSTICES THAT OFTEN ACCOMPANY THEIR RIGHTEOUS THIRST FOR JUSTICE.
- wole soyinka