This page contains an essay guide for Grade 10 History learners on how to write a Heritage Day essay. On the 24th of September every year in South Africa, there is a great celebration of all cultures and heritages of all South Africans. This was after the Inkatha Freedom PArty proposal in 1996.

Background on South African Heritage Day

Before you write your essay, you should first know what heritage day is and what it means.

The word ‘heritage’ can be used in different ways. One use of the word emphasises our heritage as human beings. Another use of the word relates to the ways in which people remember the past, through heritage sites, museums, through the construction of monuments and memorials and in families and communities (oral history). Some suggest that heritage is everything that is handed down to us from the past.

One branch of Heritage Studies engages critically (debates) with issues of heritage and public representations of the past, and conservation.

It asks us to think about how the past is remembered and what a person or community or country chooses to remember about the past. It is also concerned with the way the events from the past are portrayed in museums and monuments, and in traditions. It includes the issue of whose past is remembered and whose past has been left unrecognised or, for example, how a monument or museum could be made more inclusive.

Essay Guideline

Important: you should include relevant images to go with your key points. You can find plenty of images on the internet, as long as you provide the credits/sources.

When you write your Heritage Day essay as a grade 10 student, you will get great marks if you include the following structure:

  • Introduction:
    • Provide a brief history linked to heritage day
    • The main key issues you will be discussing throughout your essay
  • The body:
    • Explain the changes that were made to this public holiday.
    • Explain how the day is celebrated in schools, families, workplaces and other institutions like churches etc.
    • How does the celebration of the holiday bring unity and close the gaps of the past?
    • Explain how the celebration of the day enforces the application of the constitution of South Africa.
  • Conclusion
    • What key points did your essay cover?
    • What new knowledge did you learn or discover?
    • What are your views on “Heritage Day”?

More Resources

Below are more previous resources you can download in pdf format:

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