LAST week, scores of people from within and beyond the campus community flocked to the annual Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Cultural Festival.
At the official opening, speakers encouraged those in attendance to view the festival as a platform that helps students and staff from various backgrounds to cherish, honour and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens the university community.
FNB Namibia has been the main sponsor of the cultural festival for several years and this year sponsored it to the tune of N$75 000.
The theme for this year was ‘Embracing Cultural Heritage in the Morden Days’, and the idea behind this theme was to encourage people to appreciate their unique traditions, while at the same time keeping abreast with technological advances. FNB Namibia Foundation Trust Chairperson, Clara Bohithile, while delivering the keynote address at the festival, said, “Over the past few months we have been reading in the print and on social media, how tribal tendencies are boiling over in our political, economic and social conversations. As a former teacher, I taught many young people from different upbringings and ethnic backgrounds, and in my eyes, we are all just a Namibian melting pot and one people.” She said she was pleased with the theme of this year’s festival. “I am so pleased about the theme for this year’s cultural festival, because cultural heritage is such a valuable facet of public and individual life in this multicultural world. We have to work towards channelling our efforts to ensure that our cultural heritage is embedded in our modern days, so that our sense of uniqueness does not succumb to cultural exportations and appropriation. We have to embrace it and bring it to the Namibian context,” Bohithile said.
She also highlighted the importance of the NUST festival, while saying that heritage commemorates culture and develops identities. NUST Vice-Chancellor, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, said the festival had become a signature event for NUST over the past 22 years, and without it the university, would be incomplete. “This event speaks about a nation’s strength,” Tjivikua said. He quoted renowned American architect William Ralph Emerson, who said, “A nation without a cultural heritage is like an orphan who has nothing to feed upon”.
Tjivikua further said, “This event has been passed on from generation to generation, from the Polytechnic of Namibia to NUST students. The festival should not become static, but should remain a roller-coaster of beautiful events, over time.”
The cultural festival week was packed with many activities, from wine tasting, the showcasing of international cuisine
and a flea market.The event is one of the biggest happenings on the NUST calendar and it will be concluded with the crowing of Mr and Miss NUST.
–nust.na, with additional reporting by Confidente Reporter.
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