Cultural interaction has its own benefit especially when it involves different nationalities.
For the past successive six years, Nairobi international cultural festival successfully brought together various nations and individuals to rejoice and share, with others, their cultural identity. Among them is the beautiful Somali culture.
This year’s theme being ‘Spirit of Diversity’ over 10 countries in different continents showcased their cultural heritage in terms of food, dressings, dances, artifacts and songs at the festival which took place on May 12, 2018 at Nairobi National Museum of Kenya.
Awjama Cultural Centre, famous for promoting the rich Somali culture, based in Eastleigh, attracted the attention of the attendees with unique Somali custom ranging from traditional and mouthwatering delicacies – lip smacking camel meat and its milk to customary Somali attire.
With the symbol of Somalia flag, the cultural centre pitched tents with cultural items on display with masses getting overwhelmed with the beauty of the Somali culture, which many people never had the opportunity to witness.
The spirit of diversity has seen visitors welcomed with delicacies, rarely on display, appetizing camel meat (hilib geel), fresh meat (caano geel) and dates.
Along with the food, cultural items such as the haan( a wood-made container for storing milk and separating butter from milk) were also exhibited.
The cultural centre, with a free library which the public can access, have at their disposal other cultural events. A good example is the Somali Heritage Week, on its fourth year now, 2018.
Male and female Somali attire, as part of the fashion trend, were not left out either since the centre boast itself of keeping intact the Somali values. In its store, it has exceptional cultural outfit.
Youthful women luckily enjoyed their part – henna (beauty decoration-cum-painting) with different designs and patterns, mostly applied on the hand and up to the elbow, and sometimes on the feet, was also available.
Whoever felt to be attractive, henna artist ensured so. As commonly understood, henna dye comes from leaves of a plant found in Hargeysa city, Somalia.
Likewise, other countries including Thailand, Mexico, Botswana, Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Iran, Germany, Turkey, Sudan, Argentina, Chile and China participated in the yearly cultural event at Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
Somalia, represented by Awjama cultural centre, has been put on the world map and in the coming cultural events, the centre promises to showcase more in line with safeguarding the Somali culture.
Ultimately, organizers of the Somali Heritage Week and the organization at large, planned to take off in the near future, call upon the Somali community to join hands in making the custom great and share it with the global population.
The organization, which works to preserve cultures, has been at the forefront to revive the Somalia culture.
“The two major goals of the organization is to revive the Somali culture and to counter-narrate the negative image of the Somali community in the recent years,” says Fardowsa Jama, the Executive Director, in an earlier interview with AfyaSmile Kenya.