Embracing differences

Finding identity within cultures

06 August 2019 |
Justicia Shipena

As a way of bringing together and uniting the different cultural groups within the International University of Management (IUM) community, the university recently held its annual cultural festival under the theme ‘My culture, My Identity’ at the Palm Tree Park in Windhoek.

During the five days of the festivities, different cultural groups performed traditional dances and showcased their traditional cuisine and attire.

Others depicted what happens in their traditional homes, by way of drama. The cultural festival attracted a total of 40 student exhibitors.

During the official opening, Papa Shikongeni, a creative artist lecturer at the College of the Arts (Cota) spoke on the importance of cultural identity.

He said we are now trapped in ignorance of our own identities, because of not loving who we are, and not acknowledging our own food, names, customs and beliefs.

He added the education system, as well as elders, are failing to transform so that future generations can benefit from the truth that we are agricultural and spiritual people.

“We can use a master’s of technology to teach our children our science and the way of nature,” he said.

Shikongeni stressed that heritage festivals bond us, and that we need to take pride in our identity, by reflecting ourselves to others.

“We are here celebrating the festival with our words, traditions, heritage and the culture of our languages, which make us Namibian, especially out diverse and unique languages,” he said.

Ester Am, a student at IUM, said culture is a strong part of people’s lives and celebrating it helps build relationships, as well as have some perspective and understanding of other cultures.

She added that compared to last year, many more people attended the cultural festival.

“What excites me most about the festival is the local artists that were invited to perform and they make it fun,” she said.

Musical performances kept the attendees entertained. The event concluded with the crowning of Miss and Mr IUM.



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