Revisiting our cultural heritage!

Friday, January 24, 2020

As the world evolves and new and more sophisticated items are developed, technological advancement is having a great impact on world’s cultural heritage.

The issue is more compounded with advances in today’s tech world, which seem to overshadow many areas and worse affected are cultural norms.

It is said that many communities across the world are fast losing identity due to cultural erosion, but there are things that make heritage that The Gambian community cannot afford to lose. Continued concerted and deliberate efforts are therefore needed to preserve many of aspects of the Gambian culture and heritage.

Heritage is major player in national development that can create youth jobs, increase tax revenue and help build a booming tourism culture.

Recently, the National Centre or Arts and Culture with support from the Youth Empowerment Project in collaboration and its partners convened a two-day fest dubbed-Janjanbureh Kankurang Festival that attracted thousands of culture lovers. The fest among others seeks to enhance the development of Janjanbureh as a tourism destination; promote youth employment in the areas of creative tourism, while extending sustainable socio-economic and cultural benefits of tourism in rural Gambia.

The Gambia is endowed with rich masquerades such as the Kankurang, Gesseh, Fairy, Hunting, Kumpo, Ifangbondi and Zimba.

As righty stated by one of the speakers, in traditional African societies, festivals serve to galvanize the community in a celebration of life, as it helps the people know that they are alive and also provide the opportunity to relieve the tensions and drudgery of everyday life.

With increasing threats mainly due to advances in tech and civilization, there is need for more aggressive campaign to highlight the importance of preserving one’s culture.

More importantly, there is need for more community involvement in preservation of natural and cultural heritage. We should also intensify the use of latest technologies, such as social media, to promote the preservation of nature, and more involvement of communities to ensure heritage historical myths (folklore) among others, are well preserved.

We must always bear in mind that our intangible cultural heritage is a bridge linking our past with our future.

“ Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower