|28 Apr 2004 @ 01:28, by ashanti|
Yesterday, I attended the biggest bash in South Africa ever - the inauguration of Thabo Mbeki as President for the next 5 years, celebration of Freedom Day (27/4/04) as well as 10 years of Democracy celebrations, all held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The whole day cost R90 million. 40 heads of state, other countries represented by their embassy staff in Pretoria, and thousands of people attended. The ceremony was opened at 9.00 am by blessings from priests of the following religions - Hindu, African Traditional, Christian (an ordained female priest), Jewish and Muslim. What struck me - only in South Africa can Muslim and Jew sit together, laugh together and dine together, quite happily. The overall message was one of Unity in Diversity. There was a very strong emphasis on the importance of honouring and valuing women and the feminine. There was a chiding of the wrong path the West (USA & UK) have taken, and a commitment to give even more humanitarian aid to the Iraqi and Afghani victims of what the President referred to as: "The USA's weapons of mass destruction." The music and dance, poetry and prose was very impressive. The crowds were totally amped by the time it all finished at about 8.00 pm.