IT’S YOUR CULTURE, EMBRACE IT
By: Litsa Masuku
Theory and practice are two different worlds. More often than not, huge disparities exist between how academics view and define things and how an ordinary layman would. A standard dictionary defines culture as a custom practiced and understood by a particular group of people. Whilst a typical definition you would find from people on the streets eKasi would simply be, culture is a way of life.
There is a vast range of cultures and some of them are very influential. From the colonial era until now, the Western culture has been the one dominating most if not all cultures. This has pushed many people to neglect their own culture. The youth are very susceptible to this deculturisation. In many cases, they go as far as changing their accent when they speak, the way they dress and the way they wear their hairstyles trying to embrace change.
However, after all that is said and done, one fact remains, no matter where you go or no matter what you do, its vital to remember where you come from. The best way to attain this is to encourage the youth to clasp their culture in schools and universities. The Durban University of Technology (DUT) is already cruising in this direction.
Walsingham, a DUT residence, grabbed this season to sprinkle their cultural festival. The festival was masterminded by groups of vigorous girls. They beautified the event through their endeavours to showcase different cultures with only one goal-to get to know and understand each other’s cultural backgrounds to an extensive level.
“My aim when I came up with the idea of hosting a cultural festival was to break the ice amongst my students, so that they may not be ashamed of what they are but be confident and proud of where they come from,” said Walsingham Residence Advisor, Celiwe Chemane.
A wise philosophy warns; ‘no matter how far you go, remember where you come from’. It is inevitable that when young people leave their homes and go into the big city, they aspire to experiment the wonders that life has to offer. The sad note is that they end up forgetting about their roots.
“My wish is for everyone to be free to express themselves through the language they speak, the food they eat and the clothes they wear without being ashamed just because they are in University and they are exposed to all kinds of lifestyles,” said Miss Celiwe.
The purpose of the cultural festival successfully united and restored the lost sense of respect for life and culture despite being away from home.
Life is a story yet full of mystery, along its walks there are people that you meet who will come in all different kinds. Some will understand your story better and walk with you, some will walk behind you and some will eventually drift away from you and pursue their own routes, merely because they are unique and they think differently. The sweet phenomenon is that everyone has their own beautiful story to tell, irrespective of their culture, physique or intellectual status.