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Virtual World Culture Day celebrations held

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Virtual World Culture Day celebrations held

Kitara students perform cultural dance

Friday May 21 was World Culture Day. It’s the day that was gazetted by the United Nations for reflecting upon the importance of values, norms and traditions of the people and their role in promoting peace, harmony and development in the the society.

Due to the prevailing COVID19 restrictions on social gatherings, the organisers of National celebrations, the Uganda National cultural center (UNCC) and the ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development chose to hold virtual celebrations.

On this day, all state and non-state actors take stock of their activities in promoting Culture and subsequently lay strategies for future actions.

Francis Peter Ojede, the Executive Director of UNCC says they are optimistic that the World Culture Day continues to provide an opportunity to create awareness of the public on the importance of culture in development, deepen understanding of the values of Cultural Diversity, and learning to live together better.

“It includes not only the arts and letters but also modes of life, fundamental rights of human beings, value systems, traditions, habits, and behaviors,” he said.

Uganda as a Member State of the United Nations started commemorating this day since 1999 up to date.

Uganda celebrated the day under the theme: “The Impact of COVID-19 on Culture: Promoting Recovery and Resilience of the Creative Industry in Uganda.”

A panel discussion brought experts at a physical event that was held at the Uganda National Cultural Centre main auditorium.

According to Ojede, the objectives of this year’s celebrations were to among others provide a platform for cultural stakeholders and policymakers to appreciate and celebrate the Ugandan rich and diverse cultural heritage as well as the contemporary practice of Uganda

“The celebrations ought to mobilize and orient the public and policymakers on the role of culture in socio-economic transformation,” he said.

“They also intend to provide a platform to showcase creativity, art, and culture as a primary source of livelihood and driver of National unity and sustainable development,” Ojede added.

Among other objectives is to take stock of the impact of Covid-19 on the sector and propose practical measures/interventions for both Government and stakeholders for the recovery of the cultural sector.

Provide space for a cross-cultural dialogue amongst the people and stakeholders of culture in Uganda and beyond specifically on the theme.

Robert Musitwa, the Head of Communications and media relations at UNCC said:

“Due to COVID 19, the main activity would be streamed live from UNCC main auditorium with a few guests. Please follow us on our social media platforms for details on how you can join,” Musitwa urged.

Musitwa further said that Several activities have been organized aimed at highlighting the importance of culture.

The activities that started on Monday 17th and will end on 30th May 2021 include film shows, symposium, Heritage Awards, Museum day, performances, TV & Radio Talk shows, exhibitions, Webinar conferences, workshops, and speeches among others.

“There will be performances and film shows including among others, a Poetic Performance by Aloysius Matovu Joy & a dance piece by Rachel Magoola), Afro-Jazz piece on a saxophone by Michael Kitanda), Cultural Entertainment: (Ab’oluganda Kwagalana-the Ssempeke Family) and a Film/Documentary Screening: “Creatives during Covid-19,” said Musitwa.

Juliana Naumo, The Commisisoner Culture and Family affairs in the ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development urged Ugandans to concretize actions in promoting and preserving culture in its broadest sense thereby paying attention to its intrinsic values as it plays a rightful role in the sustainable development of the country.

“World Culture Day offers Ugandans, the opportunity to reflect, recognize and take stock of the contribution of culture in development and also to assert the importance of our cultures,” she said.

The World Culture Day has been organized by the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development and Uganda National Cultural Centre in partnership with Native Voices, Pearl wood, Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, House of Talent. Femrite, National Culture Forum, Uganda Museum, and Cross-Cultural Foundation Uganda.

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