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Opinion - Cultural festivals should be embraced to unite nation 

2021-09-27  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Cultural festivals should be embraced to unite nation 
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Festivals are an expressive way to celebrate glorious heritage, culture and traditions. They are meant to rejoice special moments and emotions in our lives with our loved ones. They play an important role to add structure to our families and backgrounds.

It is, however, so important to celebrate our heritage because we need it to guide our communities. It gives pride to the community to understand where their roots are from, and helps us connect with each other. It is important to celebrate cultural festivals and heritage because it is the way cultures and heritage will continue and grow.

Festivals and heritage give people distraction from day to day, exhausting routine of life, and give people some inspirations to remember the important things and moments in life. Festivals were started to pass the legends, knowledge and traditions into the next generation. 

Moreover, all festivals are cultural in one way or another. There are many types of cultural festivals such as national, religious and seasonal. They all serve the purpose of bringing happiness to people’s lives and strengthen the sense of their community.

National festivals connect the people of a nation. National festivals connect citizens to important moments of a nation’s history such as Independence Day, Heroes Day and Cassinga, they are celebrated and observed throughout the country, with the Namibian populace having a public holiday. They solidify patriotic spirits in society.

Religious festivals are equally important for families. To keep this simple, we can all agree that religious festivals help us or families to teach principles and ethics to our generations.

All different religious festivals bring the same message of love, tolerance and understanding. On these occasions, we express our gratitude to God, for the special things or events that originated on that specific festival, especially thanks giving and Christmas Day.

Seasonal festivals reflect the attitude of people towards nature. These festivals are important because they are related to food supply. Human beings should love nature and acknowledge its beneficence before partaking in any of its gifts. 

Moreover, cultural festivals cannot be disengaged from sociological perspectives, as it is important to look at topics from multiple perspectives so that communities are able to see the whole picture, which better enables the community to find the root causes of the problem and discover a solution that takes the needs and feelings of everybody into consideration without injuring the historical perspectives that were laid time immemorial basing the notion on three theoretical orientations such as structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism and conflict perspective.

As we are enjoying Heritage week, we are reminded to reflect that traditional leadership should not be coined by any injustices but be firm oriented and just fair on their judgement as evidenced in the rich cultural cemented time immemorial. Historically, the role of traditional leadership should remain to allocate land and intervene in family feuds. This sufficed because the community lived a simple life, their survival was based on subsistence farming and livestock. 

However, through the evolution of community lifestyle, there is a great need for a shift of mindset. Wealthy in the form of monetary value has taken a centre stage and central to this is economic development.

Hlengwa (1998), traditional leadership was known among other things, acts as a symbol of unity, maintain peace, preserve customs and culture, allocate land to subjects, resolve disputes and faction fights, conduct mediation, promote the identity of communities and promulgate tribal regulations.

2021-09-27  Staff Reporter

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