Heritage Essay

1068 Words May 5th, 2013 5 Pages
Rename, or Don’t.

Asher Woolf

Christiaan Barnard Street
Ms Sutton

Early Adderly Street

Heritage plays an important role in self-identity, and hence the heritage of a country defines it. As a people we learn and improve through our past experiences and our history. This is especially relevant in a country like South Africa; having such an eventful and colourful past, it is essential we recognise all places, buildings, roads and dates that played a role in shaping our country today.
Whereas the history of a given article is the cold, hard happenings of the past, heritage is what one identifies with in their history, and this can be tangible hereditary heritage (skin colour) or cultural heritage and
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That being said, a street named after Oswald Pirow is simply incongruous with our new country and incongruous with the heritage we as a nation chose to identify with.
In extreme cases such as this, whereby a figure that is actively negative to unity and acceptance is honoured, I believe that changing street names can be conducive to promotion and celebration of Heritage in South Africa.
Oswald Pirow Street was renamed to Christiaan Barnard Street. Christiaan Barnard actively spoke out against the National Party during Apartheid, and is famous for being the first surgeon in the world to perform a successful heart-transplant. This marvel of medical science was celebrated internationally and is a great symbol of South African pride and achievement. Hence the street was named after Barnard, an ultimately deserving figure of recognition.
The above circumstance epitomizes name-changing done right; however there are a number of concerns affecting the issue in general.
The issue of Heritage affects name change. South Africa, like every place on Earth that isn’t the Far East or Europe, was conquered and subdued by Europe. This forms a crucial part of South Africa’s history, in that our culture and the very language we speak

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