David Ogilvy once famously said “Diversity turns out to be the mother of invention,” which is why we’re starting to celebrate Heritage Day a little early this year. We’ll have a proper shindig on 27 September with lots of Umqombothi to go around, but for now we’re showing off some of the interesting people we have here on campus.
Kicking us off is Priya Jugwanth, an account director, showing off her traditional garb (second from right below). Be sure to check back again later in the week for more stories:
“I come from a small town in KZN called Dundee, if you’re ever in my hood, call my folks, rumour has it my mum would love to invite you over for dinner. Yes, the stereotype is true, Indian families love to gather around as many people as they can, just to feed them! (watch out for the uncles at the car boot outside any event, there’s always a dop to cure your thirst).
“My favourite Hindu celebration is the magical festival of lights called Diwali, which occurs once a year. We light lamps and fireworks into the night sky as a way of always allowing the positivity of Light and Love into our homes and families. We share boxes of sweet-meats (which aren’t really meat dishes) – but are rather decadent and delectable Indian treats.”
Gabi Kuhn-Bernstein is a masterful strategist, she shared what it was like doing the Horah at her wedding:
“If you are ever invited to a Jewish wedding, you are most likely to get a taste of this, through their festive dancing – or what is more commonly known as a Horah. It’s s a traditional folk dance most often performed to Hebrew songs such as Hava Nagila. All guests of the occasion are encouraged to join in and it is customary to raise the bride and groom on a chair during the dancing.
“To start the dance, everybody forms a circle, holding hands, and steps forward toward the right with the left foot, then follows with the right foot. The left foot is then brought back, followed by the right foot. This is done while holding hands and circling together in a fast and cheerful motion to the right. Large groups allow for the creation of several concentric circles. It’s a way to entertain the newly-wed couple and wish them Mazeltov! Join in next time you’re invited.”
Account exec, Falala Selela is happily married to a Pedi man, but it’s also the start of her baby name woes! “Upon welcoming me into the family, my in-laws bestowed on me the name ‘Mamphela’ – derived from my mother-in-law’s side and chosen by her elders. Now that’s the name they call me, but as a South Sotho I’m still becoming accustomed to my new clan name.
“When my first born son arrives he will be named ‘Mphela’ which is also my husband’s name, because his mother’s name is also ‘Mamphela’ which was given by her in-laws when she got married. Funny thing, my hubby’s younger brother got married a year after us and the wife was also given the name ‘Mamphela’ (from my father in-law’s side) – meaning her first born son will also be named Mphela’!
“So just imagine a Christmas holiday when someone calls ‘Mphela’ or ‘Mamphela’ – we’ll all come running!”