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Uganda: How About a Cultural Dance Treat?

#Afrika

While children grow up watching television and getting exposed to foreign dances, there seems to be little being done to promote our cultural dances.

Traditionally, tribes danced to show affection, entertainment, military might and for education among others, but today, it is rare to come across these dances unless there is a big ceremony.

According to 82-year-old Joyce Nantege, each tribe in Uganda treasured their dances as they were part of their identity.

“Years from now, young people will just read about them in books,” she said.

However, there are dance groups determined to keep the art alive. According to Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) executive director Stephen Asiimwe, diverse cultural experiences are some of the attractions of tourists to the country.

Imagine sitting somewhere eating your food and then a group of dancers in traditional attire walks in with drummers right behind them playing traditional music and dance from different parts of the country.

This is a trend in places such as The Carnival hotel in Ntinda, which has become a go-to area for those looking for cultural experiences. Jude Kakembo organised his colleague’s birthday party at this place and the reason he chose it was because of the cultural music and dances.

“The experience is so different. The dances while eating are just a good feel; so, I wanted to give my friend and his other friends the Ugandan cultural experience,” Kakembo says.

Ndere cultural centre in Kisaasi is another, where visitors are treated to a cultural feel from all over the country.

 “I was told Uganda has many tribes and coming [to Ndere] to watch all these dances from different parts of the country is really amazing,” John Krushner, an American, says.

At Ndere, people from different countries walk in to get a feel of what Uganda’s culture is like. The Observer found people from Sierra Leone, Indonesia, America, Kenya, Uganda, and UK, among others.

With the show on a Sunday, visitors were taken through various Ugandan dances and after every performance, a thorough explanation of the dance was given, leaving the guests enriched with Uganda’s cultures.
By Jonathan Kamoga

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