South Africans united in pigging out

National Barbecue Day — it sounds like something that would be quite popular in North America. Every holiday,Tutu
of course, is an excuse to pig out, not just Thanksgiving, but also Christmas, Easter and Fourth of July. The latter could easily be called National Barbecue Day. After all, Fourth of July is all about celebrating freedom, particularly the freedom to stuff yourself. So perhaps South Africa is just trying to accept reality.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has become the patron of
South Africa’s Barbecue (Braai) Day, saying the pastime is a unifying
force in a divided country.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate celebrated his appointment by donning an apron and tucking into a sausage outside his office.

"This is something that can unite us. It is so proudly South African, so uniquely South African," he said. [Link]

Food can indeed unite people. If you’re serving me a delicious sausage sandwich, I really don’t care whether you’re black, white, brown, short, tall, fat, thin, gay or heterosexual. Heck, I’d even accept a sandwich from George W. Bush.

Braai Day takes place on September 24, which is also National Heritage Day.

Organiser Jan Scannell said the idea was not to have a mass braai, but rather many small ones with friends and family.

"There are so many things that are pulling us apart,
this has a wonderful potential to bring us all together," Archbishop
Tutu told reporters on Wednesday.

"We have 11 different official languages but only one
word for the wonderful institution of braai: in Xhosa, English,
Afrikaans, whatever," he said.
[Link]

People in North America speak a number of languages too, but there’s one word that seems to unite everyone: pizza. It’s a great word, especially when it’s combined with another word most people are familiar with: free.

The beauty of pizza is that, unlike hamburgers, hot dogs, ham and turkey, it can be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to support any politician who proposes a National Pizza Day. Everyone would get a holiday, in the middle of summer, to stuff themselves with pizza. We’d even feed the homeless, so that, along with Thanksgiving and Christmas, they’d be able to enjoy three meals a year.

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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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