President Hage Geingob says culture is not only about dancing and making lively performances but involves different aspects of cultural norms and values that our forefathers followed.
“We think culture is just dancing-dancing, two steps forward, a step backwards, that is what we think culture is. But culture involves many other things like literature, painting, writing poetry, and many other things that are cultural, but we think it to be just dancing. There are many aspects of culture that are not applied at the moment,” stressed Geingob.
The head of state was addressing various cultural groups and artists who flocked to Katima Mulilo to commemorate this years’ annual National Arts and Culture festival hosted by the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture.
He was speaking at the opening of the festival this week where he expressed that culture has lost value today in many societies as many people, particularly young people, think culture is all about dancing.
The head of state also emphasized that cultural differences should not separate the Namibian people, and they should rather use cultural diversity to unite one another, and fight social evils of racism and tribalism.
“There is nothing wrong in belonging to a tribe or ethnic group, what is wrong is when we add the ism, it becomes tribalism. What is tribalism? This is when you think only your people are tribe worthy.” Same with my security people, I should only be guarded by my tribesmen because they are the only one I can trust. When we think like that we are practicing tribalism, which we must fight with all the means at our disposal, emphasized the president.
The 21st Annual National Arts and Cultural festival which is being held under the theme – Intangible Cultural Heritage: Keeping Culture Alive – has attracted over 1500 exhibitors and artists from the country’s fourteen regions to showcase Namibia’s rich diverse culture.
Speaking at the same event the Minister of Education Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa pointed out that the country shares a cultural expression which has been passed on from generation to generation.
“The importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills transmitted through it from one generation to the next,” she said.
She added that “in order for tangible culture to be alive, it must remain relevant to a culture and be regularly practiced and learned from communities and previous generations, it is for that reason that the Annual Cultural Festival is of paramount importance.”
The festival started on Tuesday and it will conclude tomorrow.