Sunday, 6 October marks Grandparents Day – a day that is often overlooked while Mother’s and Father’s Day takes centre stage. While Grandparent’s Day is celebrated globally, in South Africa this is usually on the first Sunday in October and is the ideal opportunity to recognise the significant role, grandparents play in the family.
Once again, local brand icon, OUMA Rusks is encouraging people to take the time to celebrate their grandparents by bringing the generations together. This year, OUMA, has launched limited edition packs showcasing some of the many names South Africans use to reference their grandmothers. ‘’Whether it’s your uGogo, Nana, Gran, Ouma, Nani or any other name you use to refer to your Grandparent, we wanted to continue to acknowledge the powerful impact grandparents have had on our lives, not just on this one day but throughout the year,’’ says Nerina Singh, Assistant Brand Manager, Ouma Rusks.
The term grandparent does not always refer to a biological connection, it can be a family friend, a community stalwart and leader or an elder who has influenced the younger generation. There is often a special name we use to reference our grandparents, which is imbued with the love and influence they add to our lives. Whatever the connection may be, grandparents have so much to offer the younger generation in ways of guidance and wisdom, providing important role models and keepers of our stories to pass onto generations to come.
“It’s very often these unsung heroes that are the glue that keeps families together. However as time passes, and priorities change many young people move away or simply get too busy and lose touch with their grandparents. Additionally as people age, they often start to feel they have less to offer. This is why It’s important to remind people of the importance of spending time together, enjoying each other’s company, sharing experiences and continuing to make memories,” continues Nerina.
Its these memories that are so cherished when our grandparents are no longer with us. According to television presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee, having two powerful matriarchs looking out for and protecting the family always made him feel very safe and loved growing up. ‘’Now that they are gone, I’d like to celebrate Grandparent’s Day by scrolling through the many photo albums my mom has lovingly created over the years and relive the wonderful memories I have of my grandparents.’’
Bahumi Mhlongo agrees, she too has so many fond memories of her childhood and the influence her grandmother, legendary actress Mary Twala, had on the person she is today. ’’My grandmother was focused on bringing out the best in me, teaching me to become a strong, wise woman. This Grandparent’s Day I simply want to spoil ma with her favourite treats and spend some quality time together because I know this is what she loves and indulging in a bit of our favourite gossip…of course.’’
The important way in which our grandparents have influenced our lives and shaped us into the people we are today is evident for popular radio and television presenter Kriya Gangiah, who fondly looks back at the lessons her grandparents taught her to mould her into the strong independent women she has become. To celebrate her wonderful grandparents Kriya intends to host an intimate family lunch and cook the delicious dishes she remembers growing up with.
Minki van der Westhuizen agrees, ‘’it’s a blessing to still have both my grandmothers in my life and watching the impact they continue to have on my young daughters. They taught me that you can do anything you set your mind to and I love that there is a day they have all to themselves, they really deserve to be spoilt and celebrated.’’
OUMA Rusks has some tips on how you can celebrate the special grandparents in your life:
- If you are far away make time for a lengthy phone chat, write to them (yes, a good old-fashioned letter) or send them a hand-made card.
- Create a video or photo montage filled with special messages that they can continue to enjoy long after Grandparents Day is over.
- Create a list of all the reasons why your grandparents are special to you and share it with them – often we forget to tell the people in our lives just how important they are to us.
- Organise a special outing – is it theatre, a musical, or a lovely restaurant that your grandparents enjoy, a fun day out surrounded by the people they love will be meaningful for all.
- Take a page from Kriyas book and host a family lunch complete with all the family favourite recipes – make them proud and show them you were listening and watching.
- Share their stories – the older generation have so many great stories to share, take the time to listen to and record their old stories, you may feel like you’ve heard it before but you will wished you’d really listened when they are no longer around to share them.
- Treat to them to a delicious tea – it’s the perfect #dippingtime moment to share an experience over tea and rusks.