January 2.  “Tweede Nuwejaarsdag” is a cultural celebration in Cape Town, a minstrel festival with a flamboyant street parade, singing, banjos and other instruments. Interestingly it commemorates the 19th century slave culture when slaves were given this day off to celebrate the New Year.  Family groups shared, “Nowadays we do celebrate this festival with lots of enthusiasm, but there is much condemnation of the evils of slavery which was the norm.  Human trafficking today can also be seen as a modern form of slavery.”  “But what about the war in the Holy Land, isn’t there a case of oppression and domination too?“  “We can even ask ourselves in our families if we are fair and just to our workers today, recognising that they have families too to celebrate and spend time with? “ 

Reflect, share. Scripture All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord all the earth, ring out your joy. PS 97:4. Pope Francis. Some people attempt to flee from reality; take refuge in their own little world; others react with violence.  Between selfish indifference and violent protest there is always another possible option: that of dialogue.  A country flourishes when constructive dialogue occurs between its many rich cultural components: popular culture, university culture, youth, artistic, technological, economic, family and media culture. FT 199 Pray :  for honesty, acceptance and growing unity and joy in our diversity.  Choose appropriate action.