By Confidente Reporter
NAMIBIAN Heritage Week was celebrated across the country from 18 to 24 September, under the theme, ‘We’re in it together’.
To commemorate the week, the National Heritage and Culture Programmes Office in the Hardap region hosted a first-ever debating and quiz competition for 2017.
Such an event was never hosted before in Namibia, where learners got together to debate cultural issues, the importance of culture, the influence of social media and globalisation on culture and the preservation of culture in a fast-growing, technologically advancing world.
The topic focused on was ‘Social media, cultural norms and values’.
The quiz took place on 19 September and the debate the following day at the Directorate of Education Hall. A total number of 28 learners took part in these competitions.
The Heritage Week activities were attended by close to 150 community members, learners and staff of the different line ministries. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture thanked all the sponsors, who came on board to assist it with this essential dissemination of cultural practices to the young, as without the sponsors the event would not have been possible.
Deputy Director of Lifelong Learning in the Hardap region, Aletta Eises-Thanises, emphasised the importance of culture at the event. “Culture is a certain set of customs, ideas and special behaviour of a group of people in a certain society and includes food, art forms, habits, norms and values, religion and language, etc,” Eises-Thanises said. She also stated that a person without culture is like a house without a solid foundation. The audience and participants were urged to uphold their cultures and work hard to preserve them for future generations. Eises-Thanises added that there are no superior and inferior cultures. “We would never have group life without culture. It is our responsibility as individuals, and collectively, to protect our cultural heritage.”
Namibian Heritage Week was an opportunity for all Namibians to participate in a celebration of their natural and cultural heritage. The event encouraged learners to appreciate their cultural heritage, as it plays an important role in nation-building and building unity in diversity.
The slogan ‘We are in it together’ emphasised that all Namibians have the responsibility to safeguard the country’s culture and heritage.
The objectives of this event were to successfully cultivate a culture of reading, so that pupils could gain cultural knowledge through conducting research on a specific topic. The research also enhanced the vocabulary and language use of the learners. The event also created a platform for learners to build their confidence, as well as their public speaking abilities. Mariental Primary School won the quiz competition, with DD Guibeb coming second. In third place was Danie Joubert Combined School, while Sonop ended in fourth place.
The debating competition was won by Danie Joubert Combined School, while Mariental Senior Secondary School scooped the second place.
Mariental Gymnasium Private School came third and Empelheim fourth. The prize for best speaker during the debate was won by Jo-Ann Isaacks from Mariental Senior Secondary School.
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