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Celebrate, preserve culture for future generations: Ndinde

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Harare provincial arts manager William Ndinde has said culture is the embodiment of identity, a way of life that breeds peace and harmony among nations and communities.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Harare provincial arts manager William Ndinde has said culture is the embodiment of identity, a way of life that breeds peace and harmony among nations and communities.

Culture Month, earmarked for May of each year, is a programme that was introduced by NACZ working closely with diverse stakeholders and partners in the culture and creative industries across the country.

“The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by Unesco in 2001 proclaimed May 21 of each year the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue. It was called World Culture Day previously. Set aside and proclaimed as such, the day is designed to promote, consume, commemorate and celebrate the world’s diverse cultures,” Ndinde said.

He explained that Culture Month is intended to promote various cultural traits or heritages both in tangible and intangible forms that need to be preserved for future generations as globalisation increasingly threatens to extinguish the world’s lesser dominant cultures.

Ndinde further pointed out that culture fosters identity, be it at national or global level and it should be celebrated in a commemorative manner and preserved for future generations.

“The celebrations enable the nation to reflect on its culture, diversified in nature while reminding Zimbabweans of the need to preserve cultural practices, particularly those that are at the core of the spirit of Ubuntu/Unhu. Such practices are integral components of the nation’s cultural heritage in both tangible and intangible formats,” he said.

Ndinde also noted that Culture Month provided opportunities to promote and showcase the diversity of the Zimbabwean culture(s) encompassing both the old and contemporary. He urged communities to come together, celebrate and enjoy their respective cultures in harmony.

The celebratory and commemorative activities carried out during Culture Month each year revolve around a particular theme on culturally topical and social issues of that particular year. The theme for this year is Our Culture: Building Zimbabwe Brick by Brick.

“A nation’s cultural identity and those of its different localities are expressed through cultural practices that cover music, dance, praise, food, attire, literary works, crafts, religion, medicines and tools, among others either indigenous (traditional) or contemporary.” Ndinde explained.

Since its inauguration in 2002, Culture Month events have become effective ways of showcasing the country’s culture and the month encourages consumption of traditional food at home, hotels and restaurants.

Culture Month also promotes storytelling based on folklore, a traditional practice that shaped children into responsible adults endowed with the spirit of Ubuntu/Unhu emphasising that storytelling sessions should deliberately target children, particularly learners and young adults.

People are encouraged to adorn public places with their respective cultural artefacts and attire or contemporary fashion influenced by indigenous designs during Culture Month.

Ndinde encouraged the populace to visit cultural heritage sites, galleries and museums in order to appreciate the diversity of culture and purchase cultural artefacts, adding that it accorded people knowledge about the nation’s past, present and future in terms of culture and heritage.

This year’s Culture Month will celebrated in the following format: Week 1 — Indigenous Cuisines, Week 2 — Indigenous (African) Languages, Week 3 — Fashion with emphasis on local/indigenous creations, Week 4 — Culture Dialogue, Week 5 — A mixture of cultural activities.

The Culture Month in Harare province will be launched on May 24 at Cyril Jennings Community Hall in Highfield.

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