World Poetry Day in
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World Poetry Day symbolises the celebration of creativity, language, and expression which recognises and promotes the use of poetry. Declared by UNESCO, the day aims to support the linguistic diversity found in society, thereby ensuring that people are able to communicate in their mother language. Poetry is an art form that bridges gaps and promotes constructive dialogue among cultures, creating an enriched exchange of human experiences and ideas.
The notion of World Poetry Day was first proposed at the 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999 and since then, it has been celebrated worldwide every year. For South Africans, the day holds a special significance as the country has a rich and diverse pool of languages, cultures, and oral traditions. Poetry has always been an essential medium for communicating personal, social, and political issues in South Africa, playing a crucial role during the anti-apartheid movement and in the current contemporary issues concerning politics, wealth inequality, and gender issues in the country.
In South Africa, World Poetry Day is commemorated with a range of activities including poetry readings, workshops, performances, and competitions in various languages to promote and appreciate local and international poets. This day serves as an essential platform to honour the contribution of significant South African poets such as Keorapetse Kgositsile, Mongane Wally Serote, Antjie Krog among others, and motivate the future generation to embrace this engaging art form. Annually, World Poetry Day is observed on the 21st of March, encouraging South Africans to engage in poetry to foster creative expression and linguistic diversity.
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