Saturday, December 7, 2013


City of Cultures; The Warmest Place to Be

Executive summary by darmansjah

Locals call Durban eThekwini-Zulu for ‘where the earth and the ocean meet.’ It’s a fitting name for a city famed for golden beaches, year-round sunshine, and upbeat ethic diversity. Zulus, Indians, and Europeans bring the influences of Africa, the East, and the West into a harmonious cultural diversity that pervades Durban’s art, music, food, fashion, and friendly atmosphere.

Nowhere is this cultural mix more tangible than in the vibrant community lifestyle of townships such as Umlazi. Walking its bustling streets and markets or enjoying its lively bars and traditional braais, it’s easy to become immersed in this exciting urban African culture. And a delicious reminder of Durban’s strong Indian and European influences is ever present in the form of bunny Chow. This hearty hollowed-out half-loaf, filled with curried meats is a great Durban tradition that seems to reflect the harmonization of East and West in Africa.

Perhaps it’s this powerful harmony in Durban’s ethnic diversity that has placed it at the heart of South Africa’s liberation history. The sprawling Durban township of Freedom Valley is well named: It’s where ANC founder John Dube was born, where Nelson Mandela cast the first democratic vote, and where Gandhi developed the philosophy of passive resistance. It’s a proud political legacy for a proudly multicultural people.

And that multicultural mix makes flamboyant festivals a regular feature of Durban life in September, the Durban Halala Ethekwini festival sweeps the city with a colorful celebration of its ethnic diversity. Music, dance, arts, sports, heritage, and food take to the streets, emphasizing the sense of social cohesion and civic pride that unites Durban’s multicultural society. It’s this harmonious diversity that makes Durban such as fascinating and friendly-and one that is so rewarding to visit.

Find out more about Durban’s rich multicultural heritage by visiting

A ride in one of these carriages through the magnificent Durban beachfront is a true delight; Zulus perform the Dance of the Small Shields’: Durban’s Golden Mile’ beachfront washed by the warm Indian Ocean. The must-try fast food of Durban; Bronze memorial to Mahatma Gandhi at the Phoenix Settlement

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