World African and Afrodescendant culture Day

“I am African – I am Sudanese”

Haffiya Abdalla

Sudanese civil society organizations celebrated on 24 January the World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture. under the slogan “I am African, I am Sudanese”, the second edition at Omdurman Cultural Center.

Al-Taher Hassan Teh, Secretary-General of the National Union of Sudanese Folklore, indicates that more than 1073 sites have been registered in the world, including 832 cultural sites and 206 natural sites. These sites are located in East and Central Africa, three of which are in Sudan and Uganda.

Teh indicated that this celebration has several purposes, including recognition of the natural and cultural reserves that the African continent is rich in, an opportunity to promote cultural renaissance among the countries of the continent, an invitation to investors and holders of knowledge and cultural projects to support talents, as well as an opportunity to take measures to protect the cultural heritage between generations.

Khaled Salah El-Din, Director of Public and External Relations at the National Union of Sudanese Folklore, said that this celebration comes to reflect African cultures and the contents and definition of the other, as well as to clarify the positive role of the African genius in the world and change the negative view of the people of the continent.

He added that the exhibition includes folklore arts, literature, stories, food, designs, and traditional industries that express the African culture.

Held every year on 24 January, World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture celebrates the many vibrant cultures of the African continent and African Diasporas around the world and promotes them as an effective lever for sustainable development, dialogue, and peace. As a rich source of the world’s shared heritage, promoting African and Afrodescendant culture is crucial for the development of the continent and humanity as a whole.

UNESCO adopted 24 January as the World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2019. This date coincides with the adoption of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance in 2006 by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union. Celebration of this day also aims to promote the widest possible ratification and implementation of this Charter by the African States, thereby strengthening the role of culture in promoting peace on the continent.

Because of Sudan’s great cultural diversity, it is difficult to classify the traditional cultures of the various peoples. Sudan’s traditional societies have diverse linguistic, ethnic, social, cultural, and religious characteristics. And, although improved communications, increased social and economic mobility, and the spread of a money economy have led to a general loosening of the social ties, customs, relationships, and modes of organization in traditional cultures, much from the past remains intact. The following discussion of three of those cultures merely suggests some rather prominent cultural patterns that are illustrative of the wide range present. These three cultures are those of the Fur, Muslim Africans in the far western part of the country; the Humr tribe of the Baqqārah Arabs, of west-central Sudan; and the Otoro tribe of the Nuba, in east-central Sudan.

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