Uganda is composed of a diverse and rich cultural heritage expressed in arts and performances, social norms, languages, marriage ceremonies, indigenous knowledge systems of nature and environment, music and dances. The cultural heritage comprise of both tangible and intangible that are enshrined in our lives, inherited, recreated that has evolved over time. Culture is a strong part of people's lives, it influences their views, values, humor, hopes, loyalties. Culture provides a sense of identity, social cohesion, self-esteem and continuity of humanity.
The diverse cultural heritages are interconnected to one another and therefore the boundaries of ethnic cultures are fluid, they are not pure. We celebrate the diverse cultures for promoting unified nation in order to build strong pillars of foundation for our young generation and enhancing relationships with one another in order to have an understanding of their cultures for wealth creation and unity.
Uganda is a signatory to Unesco convention of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage 2003, the convention of cultural diversity and expression 2005 and the convention to protecting and promoting cultural and natural heritage 1972. As such as a nation through the cultural policy 2006 and Museums policy 2015, the republic of Uganda therefore affirms its constitutional obligation of mainstreaming cultural heritage and guarantees its preservation and enhancement for promoting sustainable development. We therefore applaud different communities, cultural institutions and individuals who are playing major role in the proclamation, recreation, safeguarding, maintenance and promotion of cultural heritage, which help to enrich our cultural diversity and human creativity.
This year the Ugandan community will have an opportunity to display the cultures local and international, corporate and informal as well as the historical/traditional cultures under the theme : "Appreciating who we are: Celebrating Cultural Diversity"
Therefore, the purpose of hosting this Uganda International Cultural fair is to establish a platform where the Ugandan Community and the international communities celebrate our culture. This fair will also help to establish relationships with people from different cultural heritages across the globe and support creating an enabling environment in which people can work together to build strong socio economic base of Uganda hence feeding into the vision 2040 of prosperous nation.
This event will run for three (03) days from 29th - 31st July 2016. This event will offer a sandwich of formal sessions and dialogues on culture, social exhibition of culture. The exhibition will include physical display of what different groups identify themselves with ranging from dressing (Fashion), art and craft, music, dance, drama, poetry, diverse cuisine, wine testing, local brew, historical traditional tales and legends, acrobatics, magic shows among other things in their individual exhibition booths. National Kingdoms, cultural clusters and the international community will be invited to showcase their cultures.
Schools are invited to offer an opportunity to the young generation to learn about the different cultures both local and international and be inspired. Schools will also be a major focus for creating a tourism culture amongst the Ugandan community since behavioral change is more effective amongst the very young as compared to adults. There shall be school cultural quiz competetions being sponsored by Uganda Tourism Board(UTB). The best pair of students will be awarded school fees for the next term, the teacher or trainer and the school for the best pair of students will be awarded as well.
The importance of promoting the cultural fair
- It will contribute to building communities that are powerful enough to attain significant change in development. If cultural groups join forces, they will be more effective in reaching common goals, than if each group operates in isolation.
- It will help to diversify our economic base in boosting rural economy where rich cultural products can be packaged and marked in the international trade through cultural tourism experiences
- There is opportunity for young generation to develop innovative skills of modern technology through animation of cultural heritage in the digital revolution which helps in creating jobs in creative arts
- Each cultural group has unique strengths and perspectives that the larger community can benefit from. This will offer a wide range of ideas, customs, and wisdom to solve problems and enrich community life in the future
- Understanding cultures will help to overcome and prevent ethnic differences. The ethnic divisions result in misunderstandings, loss of opportunities, and sometimes violence. Misunderstanding of conflicts drain communities of financial and human resources; they distract cultural groups from resolving the key issues they have in common.
- This function will help to learn about the influences that cultural groups have had on our mainstream history and culture, this will help participants get an accurate view to appreciate different societies, communities and cultural norms.