UNESCO’s cultural week; Springing up new era for community cohesion

Participant clad in cultural costums showcasing their traditional dance during the UNESCO Cultural week. Picture by Sebit Patrick, 26th April 2024

By Lucia and Patrick

Participants have expressed gratitude to UNESCO and partners for organizing cultural week program. The participants say this activity enhances community cohesion and empowers cultural diversity among South Sudanese.

UNESCO through the Ministry of culture, museums and national heritage in partnership with SWISS Agency for Development cooperation in South Sudan, have organized a two days events celebrating South Sudan cultural week

Participants at the event took to the media team to thank UNESCO and the government for the initiative. They say this event helps to revive cultural heritage as well as empowering unity among South Sudanese.

Lino Philbert Nyara a representative of Balanda community said culture helps them to prepare generational heredity.

“This cultural day for me, firstly when we organize such occasion, it allows us to keep our heritages. To keep our heritage this time is very difficult because there are a lot of  things people are busy with, that keeps them from being part of their cultural heritage.” Says Nyara

Marona Zalan Edward from the Baka Community of Western Equatoria’s Maridi said the event helped him to know many tribes in the country.

“This day has brought more joy to me because I have got to know many tribes that gathered here. Besides, in South Sudan your culture is very important, you have to preserve it to defend your country”

John Lino Liban a representative of the Lokoya community appreciates UNESCO for the initiative. He says the event also helps his community to come together

“This is a very great event organized by UNESCO, this is very important because it brings people together. Like for us the Lokoya we’re from Nga-Ngala to Lowoi, so when you see these places, we are six so bringing this people together is brings unity within the people itself” John Lino says

Lino urged the continuity of such event calling for the inclusivity of more communities, especially those who did not show up at the cultural week celebration.

“I think this is a very good initiative, they need to keep the spirit of keeping people together. They have started the initiative so I think this has to go ahead. the other event has to be more colorful than this” John Lino urged

Lino further encouraged the communities hosted at the event to come together and enjoy the diverse cultures the country tribesmen can offer.

“ It is always good to have an identity, having no identity means people are baseless. So, these are the initiatives that I think every community has to take ahead so that the cultural event program can go to the next generation”

Speaking during the event, the Minister for Culture, Museums and National Heritage Hon. Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi was thrilled and asked participants to register their dance groups with the ministry. She says this will ease funding and supports to empower the reach cultures from diminishing.

“All the traditional cultural dancing group should come and register at the ministry, so that we can support them with any funding as a ministry.”

Dr. Nadia also encouraged students at the event to use the opportunity to learn the diverse cultures in South Sudan.

“Also, for you as students you have learned a lot about South Sudan’s rich cultural and traditions”.

The event that brought together over 40 tribes from across South Sudan to participate in the cultural week was held at Nyakuron cultural center on 26 and 27 of April 2024 respectively.

The event was attended by Government representative from South Sudan, representative from the East Africa region, Swiss and South Africa.