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Cultural Day Celebrated in Johannesburg Congregation

Various countries and cultures represented were European, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia.

Mopane worms, pineapple with chili powder, fish cooked in coconut oil and peanut powder, Biryani, Vada, chicken feet, and pap are only a few of the traditional food dishes prepared for the Johannesburg Stake Cultural Day event held Saturday, May 30th at the meetinghouse in Randburg.  Members came together to celebrate the diversity of the many cultures and traditions that make up The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Africa by sharing their food, music, and cultural dress with one another.


President Andrew E. de Kock said, “As South Africans, there are a number of reasons why we should have such an event. Just recently, something that we are not proud of as a nation, was some xenophobic attacks in our country. It did not affect us within the church, but as a country it was frightening for all foreigners living within our borders. That is partly what has driven us towards having a day like this. When I know more about you, I understand you and respect you. I am not threatened by you.  When we don’t understand or respect each other, that is when we mistrust. A day like this goes a long way to breaking down some of those boundaries. That’s what we are after, we’re just after breaking down boundaries and learning about different cultures: when we do, we become a people that can be united. As a church, our diversity is our strength! It must be. We overcome differences by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. ”

The Indian culture is known for their spices, beautiful fabrics, jewellery and dancing. The largest population of Indians outside of India are located in Durban and Johannesburg.  Food is a big part of their culture and revolves around most of their entertaining.  Sister Beverly Arumugam said, “Their culture and religion intertwine and food brings them together.” 

Various countries and cultures represented were European, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia, to name a few. The event truly expressed the diversity within the church.

Kgomotso Thabiso Sehloho, 2nd Counsellor in the Stake Presidency said, “We can understand that we are more alike than we are different.  Unfortunately we like to focus on the differences - that is human nature - but we are more alike than we are different.”  The day included dancing, singing and a short explanation of the food they brought to represent their country. Those that participated felt proud to represent their country. Sister Msane, Stake Relief Society President (women’s organization) was pleased with the event and remarked, “Everyone who was here enjoyed themselves and loved the food.”

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