WINDHOEK: The International University of Management (IUM)’s 2012 Cultural Festival kicked off here on Monday with the message that no culture is superior to other cultures.
Held under the theme ‘Our Culture, Our Trademark’, the week-long event serves to encourage students to celebrate and promote cultural diversity, and to instill a sense of pride and excitement in the students with regards to their tradition.
Speaking at the opening of the event on Monday, IUM Vice-Chancellor Virginia Namwandi cautioned students not to play the cultural card in order to get involved in behaviour which would negatively influence the Namibian nation.
“We should be bold enough to stand up against any aspects of culture that demean others, or contributes to some of the social ills that are on a daily basis tainting the many positive strides we have made as a nation,” she advised.
Namibians should also create their own symbols that would make them unique as a people and a nation, but this can only be achieved if they embrace all that is good and positive from the diverse cultures that the nation represents.
To achieve this, she said, Namibians should relook and rethink some of the misconceptions and wrong perceptions that they may have of other cultures.
Namwandi also encouraged the youngsters in attendance to spend more time with the elderly in order to understand some of the cultural practices and behaviours that previously held people together, and ensured safer environments.
Meanwhile, third-year student Pavaza Kaupasaneua commended the management of the university for organising the event, which gives people the opportunity to experience an ‘authentic, vibrant’ celebration of the many different cultures in the country.
“The festival is an important event, as it reminds us of where we are coming from,” he added.
It ends Friday.