Kavetuna calls for establishment of cultural villages
Windhoek – Namibia needs to establish cultural villages, which will serve as education centres for people who would like to gain more knowledge and understanding of the country’s diverse cultures.
According to the Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Juliet Kavetuna, such cultural villages would serve as powerful educational tools and have been proven successful in other countries where they are incorporated into ecotourism plans.
Kavetuna said this when she officially opened the 19th Polytechnic of Namibia Cultural Festival held from August 11 to 15, under the theme “Culture is the cornerstone of humanity”.
She said the government has shown great wisdom by adopting the policy promoting all cultures as a mechanism for preserving cultural diversity and building national unity.
Article 19 of the Namibia Constitution deals with culture and entitles every person to practice, maintain and promote any culture, language, tradition and religion, she said.
Kavetuna, therefore, called on tertiary institutions to safeguard indigenous languages by availing postgraduate studies to encourage research and strengthen the link between applied research and the development of languages.
“In fact, it is not just the local languages that need to be accorded their place, but there is an urgent need for the increased integration and expertise on cultural heritage in higher education where linking it to university curriculum through interdisciplinary approaches would further promote cultural heritage in a sustainable manner,” she said.
Speaking during the same occasion, the Rector of Polytechnic of Namibia, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, said cultural festivals are important vehicles for keeping the culture of the nation alive.
Tjivikua noted that cultural festivals, through various activities, such as languages, literature, music, dance, games, mythology, rituals, customs, handcrafts, architectures and other arts are not only promoting the diverse and rich cultures of Namibia but serve as platforms for the country to expose other cultures.
“Namibia is a diverse country, which has multiple languages, is multi-ethnic and multi-religious, and as a result, is multi-cultural.
“Cultural festivals provide us with an opportunity to appreciate our diversity, to strengthen our nation-building efforts through reconciliation, mutual respect, tolerance and understanding,” he said.