26 Mar Journey to the Land of Ubuntu -- Day 6

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today, our travelers saw the dual faces of Apartheid in South Africa.  The morning started with a tour of the capital city of Pretoria, which is now the greater metropolitan city of Tshwane - incorporating the White inner City with 13 outlying Black and Colored townships in to one metropolitan government council.  This political reconciliation bears the slogan "We are the same."

                         Dr Gwen  Union Building  Voortrekker Monument

The centerpiece of the tour of the central city of Pretoria is the Union Buildings, which house the offices of the President and Vice President.  Nearby, stands a monument to the journey of the Afrikaners to the region - the Voortrekker Monument.  These symbols of the former Apartheid rule stand in stark contrast to the reality of today's progressive society that celebrates all cultures with national holidays  and other cultural celebrations.  The current Executive mayor of the municipality is a Black woman, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa.

 

                         Lesedi-2  Lesedi-3  Lesedi-1

In contrast to this Afrikaner heritage is nearby Lesedi Cultural Village, which recreates the cultural experience of the native cultures of the region.  This experience includes a guided tour of four homesteads - Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho and Pedi.  The tour includes a dance celebration and a pan African feast featuring a variety of local native dishes. This day was a moving and enlightening experience.  Our travelers moved emotionally from feelings of anger , celebration, and reconciliation -- as the significance these symbols of the past and future were placed in the frame of reference of our experience in the Township of Atteridgeville on Tuesday evening.

 Tomorrow , we travel to see the Good, The Bad, and Ugly of Soweto.

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