The 24th of September is a public holiday here in darkest Africa; formally known as Heritage Day. To many, it is a day when rallies are held in various stadia around the country; generally accompanied by the consumption of food and drink and entertainment by local bands and celebrities – not forgetting the not-so-subtle influence of the Party Leadership dispensing slogans, promises and propaganda.
To another sizeable section of the South African population, today is unofficially known as “National Braai Day” – celebrating our incredibly diverse spectrum of cultures – and during which fires are lit, food is ‘braai-ed’ or roasted over the coals (generally meat, but it can be fish or vegetables – as dictated by our modern society), and in most instances alcoholic beverages are consumed in prodigious quantities.
Yours Truly did not elect to attend a rally – don’t be silly.
For the uninitiated, a ‘braai’ is Afrikaans for ‘barbeque’. However, the word has insinuated itself into virtually all eleven official languages (yes folks, we’re not satisfied with one or two official languages; having eleven allows our government to miscommunicate, misdirect and misinform the population eleven times more effectively than when we only had two – but I digress).
As it is Wednesday, and time to pummel an Old Master – I thought we’d stick with the theme of the public holiday. Today’s victim is a Dutch painter called Van der Heyden.