By Ison Rocky
Every year in July, Uganda holds an International Cultural Tourism Fair at the Uganda museum organized by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Tourism, Wild Life and Antiquities in collaboration with PFT Perfect Events Ltd a youth led company under a Public Private Sector arrangement.
The event is intended to avail, create an avenue/platform for the diverse African cultural heritages and endowments for exhibition of their potential to attract worthwhile benefits in terms of income earnings, exposure, and knowledge to improve on existing potential for maximum utilization.
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa,is a culturally diverse country composed of a unique cultural heritage which includes, traditional beliefs by the different tribes for example the Bachwezi community have been known for magic, traditional healing and iron smelting. They are also recognized to be historical characters, heroes and spirits. The Bakonjo are known for rainmaking, the Batwa community for hunting, iron smelting yet still traditionally dress in hides and skins, the karamajongs are known for pastoralism and feeding on blood and using intestines of their cattle for prophecy. In some communities there were and still are beliefs that women are not supposed to eat some foods like chicken, eggs, grass hoppers and fish while most common amongst Ugandan tribes are totems where tribes/clans attach spiritual significance or insignificance on an animal based on a historical background. Despite the existence of the rich cultural heritage and endowments, commercializing and earning from them remain a great challenge to which this cultural exhibition will provide a platform to unlock the learning potential of communities focusing on women and youth under the theme “Cultures empowering each other.” Besides that, Uganda also embraces other cultures from the international communities living in the country.
Several activities take place during the three day event;
The Uganda Culltural Village where the tribes of Uganda exhibit their heritages, arts and crafts, music, told stories, food testing, food preperations, bark cloth making, imbalu ritual performances, iron smelting, poems and their values.
The academic institutions which includ mostly secondary and primary schools. These participat in schools cultural quiz competitions. Schools also exhibit their cultural activities, innovations and technologies, art and craft, music and dances among other things.
The commercial village, involve the business community in Uganda which depends on cultural activities like farming for a living. They exhibit foods, textiles, traditional Music equipments, traditional tools, art pieces and crafts, local brew and poetry among other things.
The International Community, these exhibit their literature, music, fashion, cuisines, music and dance.
Totems exhibition, Uganda comprises a number of tribes with some having totems as their significant emblems. These tribes dearly preserve their respective totems/ animals and they form key cultural symbols with great history. The organization team in collaboration with Uganda Tourism Board arranged with the Uganda Wild Life Education Centre to have these animals on site, among these included the big cats like the Lion and Leopard, monkeys, kob crane, etc
This year’s event will take place from 28th to 30th July
Let’s all be be there!
Our culture our heritage!