05 Jul 2014 09:40am
OSHAKATI, 05 JUL (NAMPA) - The government remains committed to the promotion and preservation of all cultures in Namibia, embracing cultural diversity and at the same time promoting national unity, President Hifikepunye Pohamba has said.
Pohamba said this in a statement read on his behalf by the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo during the official opening of the 2014 Oshakati Totem Exposition (Expo) on Friday.
The president said cultural diversity is one of the key elements that define Namibia and Africa as a whole.
He added that the Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture Ministry was established precisely to oversee the promotion of culture in the country.
Pohamba noted that the Totem Expo has unique characteristics which differentiate it from any other expo or trade fair in the country, as it carries weight in the process of restoration of cultural values and norms as well as reinforcing the African cultural identity.
He pointed out that it is the responsibility of the elders to pass on knowledge of their cultures to the youth to ensure that they have an opportunity to inherit the norms and values which are acceptable to the society.
We must discourage the young generation from imitating foreign cultures from elsewhere, because they might never live to understand the true meaning and reasons behind some of these cultural practices, Pohamba urged, adding that people who respect their cultures, hardly involve themselves in the cultures that are not theirs.
The Head of State suggested that the Totem Expo be used as a platform to promote cultural heritage, and to educate the young generation about cultures of Namibia to encourage cultural appreciation within the community and to promote local economic development through business interaction.
Once these totem objectives are met, it is my hope that we will observe change in the minds of our people, Pohamba stated.
It is the third consecutive year that the Oshakati Town Council is hosting the Totem Expo, which aims to revive and reintroduce the Namibian cultural identity.
Various totem groups participated in the five-day Oshakati Totem Expo, showcasing their respective floats since its start on Tuesday this week.
It ends on Saturday.