Cape Town (IP): The importance of elevating cultural exchange has been highlighted as the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrated its Cultural Week in South Africa.


Iran Press/Africa: Hosted in the key cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town, the exhibit displayed Iranian cultural music, art, artifacts, and products.

Ambassador HE Mansour Shakib Mehr addressing the opening of the week noted, "This event is an opportunity to present part of Iran's rich culture in South Africa."

The occasion can lead the people of the two countries to know each other better. I hope that these cultural programs will continue and South Africa also will provide such opportunity for the Iranians to learn about the culture and civilization of this country.

I feel it's necessary to mention that Iran is a land of art, culture, literature, and poetry. Throughout history, Iranians have shown that they are peaceful people and have strong interactions with other nations.”South African representatives highlighted the need for cultural exchange to dispel false narratives that are portrayed by Western media.

Advocate Mikateko Joyce Maluleke, Director General of the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, told Iran Press it is important to showcase cultural achievements as this also helps in sharing knowledge and expertise so that countries can mutually develop their economies.

Maluleke added to Iran Press, “I think the biggest challenge is misunderstanding or not knowing the culture of certain people. It makes you to be afraid of them; you fear the unknown because you do not know their culture. If different countries could understand the culture of other people, it would create peace.

“I want to be honest, the first time when I went to Iran, I didn't know what to expect because of what was (portrayed) in social media or the news, until I got to Iran and understood their culture and saw everything about Iran. Now I love Iran, because I understand their culture and customs.”

With Iran joining the BRICS+ in January 2024, the cultural heritage and achievements of Iran are seen as an important addition to cooperation within the bloc of developing nations.

The chairperson of the BRICS SA Skills Working Group, Mapule Ncanywa, expressed interest in establishing a joint university in which cultural expertise is exchanged.

“Culture is critical because it makes you who you are. Culture also is about your language. It's about your beliefs. It's about how you develop your people. So it's important that we understand our culture and we live our culture. Who we are is important. We don't have to copy the culture of the West and whatever. So Iran maintains its culture. South Africa maintains its culture. We integrate our culture into business, and relationships with other countries. So that is very critical,” said Maluleke. 204

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