The pulsating vibe in The Distillery was a palpable pleasure to all who attended the inaugural Canada Braai Day, hosted by CBC’s Dwight Drummond and Anne-Marie Mediwake.
“Braai” is the Afrikkan term for “barbeque” and is a popular pastime in South Africa because of the way it brings people together and keeps the culture thriving. It’s even been given its own holiday in South Africa known as “National Heritage Day” championed by Patron and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Desmond Tutu. In between the live performances and free giveaways, we devoured tons of delicious food and sipped on some of South Africa’s wine.
Braai is a customary gathering which has transcended throughout to other counties in the world. It is a time for friends and families of all races and religions to get together and enjoy each others’ company.
The South African community is very connected to the city and has created a timeless bond. Toronto stood by them in protest over the massacre of miners in South Africa who were fighting for better wages aiming to break free of poverty; the Toronto’s Children’s Choir was on tour in South Africa this summer and stopped by Nelson Mandela’s hospital to sing a song of blessings for the ailing revolutionary.
That kind of awareness and closeness of community is exactly what Braai encapsulated. We felt so fortunate to be a part of the party but more importantly, recognized and reaffirmed the notion of being proud of your roots and conscious of your culture.
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman