The National Heritage Week celebrations have kicked off in Swakopmund, where close to 100 people gathered to celebrate its official opening on Monday.
The week-long festivities, held under the theme: ‘Heritage and Culture: A rock Solid Foundation’, in the Namibian sign language, will consist of several activities such as cultural performances, educational lectures and competitions, among others.
The event is taking place in collaboration with the Museums Association of Namibia, Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre and the National Arts Gallery of Namibia, among others.
In his opening remarks, Erongo Governor Neville Andre Itope called on Namibians to engage during the festivities, which should serve as a reminder for one to pause, reflect and rediscover each one’s cultural identity.
“In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy for us to become disconnected from our roots, therefore during this week, we have the opportunity to explore and engage with the rich legacy of those who have walked these lands before us.
Through this celebration, we can deepen our understanding and appreciation of their struggles, traditions, and contributions to the development of our nation, but let us not limit ourselves to recognising our cultural heritage alone,” he urged.
The governor highlighted that the Government is committed to the country’s rich heritage and its role in shaping the Nation, to the extent that it has established Acts and Policies that regulate the sector.
Education Director in the Erongo Region Erenfriede Stephanus expressed the importance of heritage, and the need to preserve it for future generations as it is a concept that offers a bridge between the past and the future with the application of particular approaches in the Christian heritage is priceless.
“Namibia has a rich cultural heritage with the highest concentration of rock arts such as paintings and engravings as a cultural expression. It is a solid foundation that makes one’s life and we cannot afford to lose it,” she said.
Stephanus added that the Namibian sign language plays a crucial role in ensuring societies and language strengthens local identities and creates a sense of belonging and should therefore be prioritised.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency