Local traditions and culture in Province of KwaZulu-Natal

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Province of KwaZulu-Natal

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    Comrades Marathon

    by Jenniflower Written Jun 12, 2007

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    The Comrades Marathon is South Africa's biggest marathon, held annually.

    People flock to Natal from all over the world to partake in this marathon of a race, it is gruelling and long.

    It takes place on a Sunday, this year being the 17 June, which is usually Father's Day in South Africa. The total distance is 89km (56 miles).

    One year the race is run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, and the next year it is the other way around. This year the race leaves at 5h30 from the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg, and ends up at Sahara Kingsmead Cricket Stadium in Durban.

    The time limit is 17h30, and when the gun goes, you know you are too late and wont get a medal. They hand out gold, silver and bronze medals.

    Tens of thousands of people train for this every eyar and is regarded as quite a feat! An equal number of people align the roadside, clapping and urging the runners on.

    It is a lovely South African tradition, one which I hope will never end (not that I will ever partake in it, other than being a spectator though!).

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Zulu Reed Dance

    by MikeAtSea Written Sep 30, 2005

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    Once a year, in the heart of South Africa's Kingdom of the Zulu, thousands of people make the long journey to one of His Majesty’s, the King of the Zulu nation's royal residence at KwaNyokeni Palace. Here, in Nongoma, early every September month, young Zulu maidens will take part in a colourful cultural festival, the Royal Reed Dance festival - or Umkhosi woMhlanga in the Zulu language.

    The Reed Dance is also a celebration of the Zulu nation and performs the essential role of unifying nation and the king, who presides over the ceremony.

    The festival takes its name from the riverbed reeds, which are the central focus of this four-day event. The reed-sticks are carried in a procession by thousands of young maidens who are invited to the King's palace each year. More than 10 000 maidens, from various communities throughout the province of KwaZulu- Natal, take part in the Reed Dance ceremony, with the rest of the Zulu nation helping them to celebrate their preparation for womanhood.

    It is a great honour for the young women to be invited to take part in the Reed Dance ceremony, and its also a source of great dignity and pride for their families and communities.

    According to Zulu traditon, only virgins are permitted to take part in the festival to ensure that they are ritually 'pure'.

    Zulu Maidens during the Reed Dance Zulu Maidens during the Reed Dance
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    San Art

    by MikeAtSea Written Sep 30, 2005

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    This 'masterpiece of human creative genius', partly responsible for adding World Heritage status to uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, is the principal monument to ancient hunter-gatherers who survived here until the 19th century. Descended from Early Stone Age progenitors who traversed the length and breadth of southern Africa for a million-plus years before them, the San themselves roamed freely between the Drakensberg and the coast for many thousands of years. Then came the constituent tribes of the budding Zulu nation, followed by white settlers from Britain and Europe all of whom brought cattle and the burning desire for territory. The San were forced to withdraw into their mountain fastness, from where they began raiding the stock of these invaders. Retribution was swift and terrible, with the whites soon declaring these 'Bushmen' to be 'vermin for immediate extermination'. San culture disappeared from the Drakensberg at the end of the 19th century when the remaining San people became absorbed, not always happily, into the Nguni people of Lesotho, and cultures of KwaZulu-Natal. Today all that remains of this culture is the unique and fascinating legacy of their art.

    San Art
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    Roadside Carvings

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Apr 24, 2004

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    Not long after we had re-entered South Africa, from Swaziland, we noticed many communities along the N2 highway toward Richards Bay, on the coast, had numerous carvings and trinkets for sale. This was similar to the custom in Swaziland, where we had seen fantastic carvings of giraffes for sale. In this case, various sizes of Guinea Fowl were up for grabs. Both of these items were things that I would really have loved to take back with me, but I could not help but wonder how they would ever survive the airline's cargo handling procedures! In short, keep on driving.

    Guinea Fowl Carvings
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    Burning it all down to the ground

    by tompt Written Oct 5, 2002

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    When you travel through KwaZulu Natal in september like we did you are bound to see some fires. The fires are all made by the landowners. Fire is used to kill bugs and other things that can distroy next years crop.

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Province of KwaZulu-Natal Local Customs

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