Happy Heritage Day! One of South Africa's many public holidays which is supposed to celebrate our unity in diversity. However, since about 2000 it has basically focused on the one thing which really unites all South Africans in our diversity and that is a braai (barbeque)! Unofficially, it's been redubbed National Braai Day.
A braai is a seriously important part of South African national culture and our myriad sub cultures. It means much more here than simply grilling meat (or vegetables) outside. If you are invited to someone's house for a braai, this is a big sign of social acceptance, a little like being invited to Diwali or Thanksgiving in other cultures. You never turn down a braai invitation: it's considered very rude indeed.
Likewise, if you're invited to a public braai (these are called shisha nyamas), particularly if you're a visitor to South Africa, that is a huge sign of social acceptance. These take place all over most towns at weekends and public holidays and turn into outdoor parties most of the time.
When you're fully integrated into South African culture, you can take the plunge and set up your own braai, inviting your friends to it. Be warned: thorough preparation is required and should you not meet the required standard, your social standing will plummet.
The only phrase you need today is this one:
Nou gaan ons braai, my bru! (now we're going to have a braai, my brother)