Debating aspects of cultural dynamism

Culture is one of the indices that signify personal and national identity.

Culture is one of the indices that signify personal and national identity.

The Great Historian, Walter Rodney’s, description of culture was; “a culture is a total way of life.

It embraces what people ate and what they wore; the way they walked and the way they talked; the manner in which they treated death and greeted the new-born.”

Making culture a fundamental foundation of any society, whose upholding promotes the stature or identity of that particular society.

History that encompasses most cultural values plays an important role in continuously enriching the cultural developments, so as to remind generations about the nation’s positive, cultural practices, that form the back bone of a given society.

Culture in most cases is subjected to changes which changes under normal circumstances  should be positive in this regard, the changes have to be portraying an attractive image to the owners of the culture, and the ones exposed to that particular culture, in this regard, it is the foreigners under the exposure of that specific culture that are being referred to.

Cultural dynamism there-fore implies, the ability to do away with negative cultural practices, while positive aspects are guarded jealously.

This is also a way of fostering universally acceptable cultural norms and practices ending much of the cultural based conflicts.

Language signifies an important definition of any one culture therefore, it is the responsibility of every member of that particular society, to uphold it, preserve it through the encouragement of its proper use.

The raw form of that language can be safe-guarded, by teaching the correct dialects, and by not allowing slang to bastardize that particular language, resulting in it losing the values and qualities it is meant to represent.

Traditionally polygamy in Rwanda was the order of the day, especially among the elite in society, simply because they could afford to support their big families without restraint on their personal resources.

On the whole the issue of polygamy and the number of children each family (rich and poor), must now be considered as national development matters; given the population explosion the country is currently experiencing.

The dynamics, have changed because a strain on available resources cannot support the population if the present high birthrate continues. 

A better cultural practice in view of these changing dynamics, would be for us to stick to one wive with less children.

This way available resources, such as land, public infrastructure such as hospitals and schools, will be easily available to all.

In this regard, it becomes evidently clear that monogamy in Rwanda is more accommodative than polygamy.

Additionally, reducing the number of children is  fundamental in Rwandan society as it will enhance better standards of living.  

Parents are able to avail education, accommodation, proper feeding and their general welfare.

We have seen, that in cultural dynamism it is necessary for negative aspects to be discarded, so as to provide comfort or give a breathing space to the community in question.

Within Buganda, the women folk and girls kneel for ms of bad cultural  practices, we as a matter of urgency have to rid ourselves of. Within the Sebei tribe of Uganda for instance, there exists the primitive practice of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), a serious health hazard to the victim.

Prompting campaigns, to eradicate such habit is a positive idea, as the habit is health hazardous, millions of lives can be saved by doing away with it.

Male circumcision differs as it offers more protection to males who have under gone it than those who have not.

Though,it is not part of Rwandan culture, circumcision is recommended as a way of reducing the rate of HIV infection, especially in cases of unprotected sex. 

As evidenced through a trial which proved that it offers 60% protection to unprotected sex, and in this regard the government is encouraging both men and boys to undergo circumcision so as to reduce the rate at which HIV/AIDS SPREADS.

I think that it is crystal clear that male circumcision is a positive form of our culture in the path of reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence in Rwanda.

Habineza Joseph, Minister of culture and sports “Culture dynamism has always been useful in changing and admitting  new and positive elements.”

He goes on to say, “new elements such as democracy are good as they improve on our culture. Circumcision as a way of reducing HIV/AIDS a new element within our culture which is a good approach towards cultural improvement.”

rutazigwa@yahoo.fr

 

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