Poly Student Wins Award … As19th Annual Cultural Festival Opens

HUNDREDS of people in their different cultural attire gathered at the Polytechnic of Namibia to celebrate the second day of the instituions19th annual cultural festival, in Windhoek yesterday.

The festival which started on Monday and ends on Friday is being celebrated under the theme: “Culture is the cornerstone of humanity” which is the brainchild of Hilma Nyau. The 19-year-old won N$500 for the theme.

Nyau, a first year architecture student, said she got the idea after reading a poster on campus inviting students to come up with this year’s theme.

“I think culture makes a person. With no culture you have no values and no identity,” she said, adding that she is disappointed that culture is slowly dying in Namibia.

While admitting that a few tribes are still preserving culture, she said people should be proud of their origins to preserve culture.

“Parents should also continue teaching their children more about their culture as well as their values,” says Nyau.

The deputy Minister of Youth, National Service Sport and Culture Juliet Kavetuna said festivals are important vehicles for keeping cultures alive.

Kavetuna also said people could set up cultural villages to preserve their heritage. “Cultural villages serve as powerful educational tools. They have proved successful in countries where they have been incorporated into eco-tourism structures,” she said.

Kavetuna also aocated that all indigenous languages should be promoted and protected because language is one of the key vehicles of conveying culture and is used to pass on ideas, customs and traditions.

The polytechnic rector, Tjama Tjivikua, said culture is an enabler of sustainability particularly when integrating a people-centred approach in development and peace building initiatives.

Tjivikua said the festival would be a great success if only, besides the enjoyable music, dance and food, it reminded all that culture is not a luxury, but a powerful resource that people need to harness to deal with multiple challenges.

“Just remember that through the songs that you will be singing, the stories you will be telling, the different musical instruments that you will be playing and even the different ways in which you will be expressing yourselves, you will give us an opportunity to learn about one another’s culture,” he said.

FNB Namibia chairman Claus Hinrichsen said the theme “culture is the cornerstone of humanity”, is by far one of the best themes ever for the festival and that it is important for people to regularly celebrate their cultures because people lose touch the further they move away from their original homes.

“As humans, I hope we appreciate each other’s unique customs and ways of life. Let us be proud that culture is the cornerstone of humanity in Namibia,” Hinrichsen said.

Source : The Namibian