Culture should not divide Namibians: Geingob

07 Dec 2016 18:50pm
RUNDU, 07 DEC (NAMPA) – Culture should not divide Namibians but should insteead unite them, President Hage Geingob said at the official opening of the 21st Annual National Cultural Festival at Katima Mulilo on Wednesday.
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage: Keeping Culture Alive’.
The national festival creates a platform for the celebration of Namibia’s diverse and rich cultures and heritage.
Last year, it was held in the //Kharas Region.
Geingob said culture is important for having people understand each other and thus making it easier to overcome economic and political barriers.
“Many have often said that culture is the oil that keeps our society running. Tradition and knowledge have been described as the main pillars of development and sustenance of communities and that no society can progress in the absence of the two,” Geingob said.
The head of state said through cultural festivals, Namibians should appreciate how various cultures make the people more united and stronger as a nation by sharing beliefs and practices.
Speaking at the same occasion, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said the annual event has grown since its inception in 2005.
She said this year’s cultural festival features approximately 90 traditional cultural groups with each comprising of 15 individuals.
Thus, about 1 300 of Namibia’s cultural practitioners gathered to participate at the prestigious event and put their ways of life on display for all to appreciate.
“We share cultural expressions that have been passed from one generation to another, have evolved in response to their environments and contribute to giving us a sense of identity and continuity.”
Hanse-Himarwa said that for a culture and its practices to remain alive, they must remain relevant and be regularly practiced and learned, and passed on from generations.
It is for this reason, she said, the Annual Cultural Festival is of paramount importance.
The minister called on all Namibians to take part in identifying their intangible cultural heritage, for they are the ones to decide which practices is part of their cultural heritage.
The 21st Annual National Cultural Festival at Katima Sport Stadium ends on Saturday.