Today was our South African Heritage Day. South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their heritage, but in recent years it was changed to Braai day to create a unifying atmosphere.
I found myself at the Cape Malay Heritage Society's event at the park right next to Bishops school in Rondebosch. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the program and I could see that there is a growing interest in one of the least known cultures (Melayu) which exists in South Africa.
Although I was promoting our Istanbul Tour, I took the time to speak to people about various topics like Silat, Calligraphy and the Jawi script. My teacher pak Hilmy had his table next to mine and displayed his collection of books on various topics relating to the Malay heritage and culture.
The arab afrikaans script was not a new script at the time, but was the script in which malays were communicating their language. So to study the arab Afrikaans without studying the Jawi script which Tuan Guru wrote in, is doing a disservice to the preservation of the Cape Malay and Muslim heritage and culture.
Not by coincidence, the Tana Baru trust tent was just next to us, and I got talking about the matter to Aadil Bassier (son of the late Imam Maanie), who agreed that we have to incorporate the Jawi script on the agenda. Many of the gravestones (messangs /nisan) in the Tana Baru are engraved in the Jawi script, sometimes even naming the ship which the person arrived with.