Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Culture day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development.
This year’s annual celebrations were held at the Uganda National Cultural Centre under the theme “Awakening our Norms and Cultural Values as a Tool for Mindset Change”.
The day not only celebrates the richness of the world’s cultures but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.
The United Nations General Assembly first declared this World Day in 2002 following UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.
Speaking at the celebrations, Robert Musitwa, the UNCC Public Relations and Marketing Manager, said as a cultural institution and a government agency in charge of arts and culture, they have embarked on making Uganda’s unique culture, values and norms entrenched within the society and the communities.
However, he asked for more funding from the Arts and Culture sector saying, “This is an agency under the Ministry but as we even speak, now, we don’t even have a vote to enable us run these activities.”
“As you have seen, we would have wanted this to be massive but of course, we we are unable to do that because of the funding. And we are asking the government that if they can only invest in arts and culture, they can be able to have returns just like they are investing in security and other sectors. It is time they did that for the arts and culture sector. And if they can only do this systematically, in a short while, we will be able to have real returns for the government.”
He noted that culture can be used to promote economic growth.
“First and foremost, we are promoting the chimpanzees. We are promoting the animals. We have been telling our friends in the tourism sector that these are things that can be anywhere. So, why don’t we invest in the cultures? These are the only things that make us unique and will bring in revenue. Out of the 65 ethnic groups, if you only decide to pick out about 10, every country would be interested to see how they behave, what they know, their lifestyles, among others.”
Barbra Babwetweera, the Executive Director of Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda, said the celebrations help express Uganda’s cultures, norms and values to the rest of the world.
She noted that it is the norms and values that actually distinguish us as a people.
“We are glad that the Ugandan theme for the word culture day is none other than awakening our norms and cultural values as a tool for mindset change. We very well know that in one of the programmes of Uganda for the National Development Plan, mindset change is one of the key programmes but we haven’t expressed to the nation how culture can play a big role in contributing to mindset change. Our norms, our values and principles are the right tools to express or to contribute to mindset change.”
At the event, there were numerous activities that included exhibitions, cultural dances, drama, panel discussions, among others.
Leave a Reply