South African Culture — A Quick Overviewof South African Culture


Most people are attracted to knowledge and exploration of different things and all of them have a different set of interests. If you are among such explorers who are interested in gaining knowledge about different cultures of the world, then this article is going to fascinate you.

In this article, I will provide you the information about South African culture. This rainbow culture will surely attract you and you will enjoy reading about it.

So, be with me and enjoy learning. You will also get to know why I am calling it a rainbow culture. Let’s start.

Culture of South Africa:

The term “Culture” is not easy to define therefore there are many definitions of this term available according to varying ideas and perceptions of people. Coming to the culture of South Africa, it is even harder to describe this multicultural culture.

Despite all these hardships, I will tell you about some of the key aspects that are considered the core of culture. These are Language, Social System, Beliefs, Food, and dressing.

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Before discussing South African Culture, let me tell you a brief history of South Africa. Then, it will be easy for you to understand the reasons for many aspects of this diverse culture. 

In the 15th century, South Africa was colonized and it lasted under the influence of colonial powers for a longer period. This colonization resulted in a white population that later caused racism. 

Those colonizers introduced the Apartheid system of institutionalized racial oppression. And that’s how they sowed the seed of racism in South Africa. 

This colonization also brought imbalance in the society. Thus, the people of South Africa lack equal opportunities and perks of life. 

South African Literature:

South African literature comprises Black literature, African Literature, and Anglophone literature. The common themes of concern are regarding the struggles of black and revealing the life of Africans.

During the initial time of the Apartheid system, the writers were directed to write within certain standards. It includes favoring the Apartheid system and political nationalism. 

However, in later times, the writers started writing about universal themes such as love, conflict, nature, and social relations. The change in writing even led to writing against the Apartheid system that was introduced by British colonizers.

The oral traditional folk tales of ancient South African culture are also an inspiration for writers. They are also trying to preserve their traditional ancient literature.

Social System:

South African culture has a tribal system. The population is divided into tribes and their respective tribe represents their identity. Even the language and lifestyle of each tribe differ from one another. 

Some of the dominant tribes of South Africa are Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, and Venda tribes.

Thus, you can say that the tribe is not only the identity of its members but tribes serve as different cultural groups. However, all the groups have little in common that is because of geography and similar landscape.


Due to the diversity in the population of South Africa, many religions are practiced there and people have beliefs accordingly. The most common religions found in South Africa are traditional South African culture, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism.

Therefore, there is not any specified and official religion in South Africa. Moreover, the beliefs of people also largely depend upon the tribe to which they belong. 

Foodof South Africa:

The variety of population has contributed to making a great diversity in South African food. Portuguese and Dutch population has introduced fish dishes, Bobotie sausages, and meat pie. 

Similarly, Indian people introduced spicy Indian taste to the culture. Apart from this, cosmopolitan cuisines are also found there.


The dressing of South Africans is charming and eye-catching. They wear colorful skirts and aprons that are beautifully printed or even embroidered. Enhancing bracelets and necklaces add to the beauty of their dressing.

Married women also wear scarves. Capes and shoulder shawls make the dressing most enhancing and wonderful.

Just like the colorful breeds of South Africa, the dressing is also colorful and fascinating.


Thus, the colonized history of South Africa has greatly affected its culture. Though one might say that South Africans lack a proper culture but it is true that the culture is diverse.

The post-Apartheid system is eradicating racism and society is moving towards prosperity. People are also getting education and an overall betterment could be seen.

Also, due to the great variation inthe population, the culture is enriched by many colors. Moreover, the distinct culture of different tribes makes South Africa more multicultural. 


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