Cultural week is here! Being a Rastafarian, (don’t haffi dread to be a raster man) we always talk of:’ getting back to our roots’. Talking of cultural week, means that we get back to where we originally came from before or even after enculturalisation. The problem is, most people cannot define what culture is. Some only talk of their culture because they heard others talk of it yet they cannot differentiate between their culture and what they are told or hear from others talk of what their culture was. We can define culture in very many ways:
1. Culture may refer to some or shared attributes of a human group e.g. physical environment, religion, customs and practices, whole way of life e t c
2. It can also be defined as becoming aware either spontaneously or methodically through which rough and confused meanings are consolidated
3. Culture is the manmade part of the environment and it consists of the habits and tendencies to act in a certain way.
Though there are other definitions, let’s focus on these first. People tend to forget that a country too has its culture or even cultures. What binds a society together? It’s the culture, the shared attributes. What brings people working or studying in an institution together? Its the culture through the habits and tendencies to act in a certain way for instance the rules and regulations governing the institution, the country, e t c these rules brings them together as part of their culture .
A good example is people from Rwanda who have a national day for celebrating their culture. This week I expect people who are rude by nature to be polite at least for once in order to express the Kenyan culture. language too may count as part of culture and so every one should be proud of their tribes although I am not encouraging tribalism. At least for this week only, why don’t we speak and teach others our communal languages? For instance the use of Swahili for Kenyans, and use of terms like; KARIBU SANA, HAKUNA MATATA, e t c
Here in campus, we have different types of religious groups with different cultures but no one remembers that. There are also different types of traditional foods yet we don’t even remember them during the cultural week. We don’t remember the traditional songs either those from our different ethnic groups, countries, e t c
What’s even more exciting is if you asked some people from the current generation about what they are wearing, was dressed during what occasion and why, they can’t tell. They only do it because they heard or saw it on television, in museums, or even international shows.
Focusing on the university culture and basing on the first definition that culture is some shared attribute among a certain group, we can conclude that education, socializing, bringing peace and harmony (if they also count) are part of the institutions’ cultures.
Culture in an institution can be improved through enculturalisation of the culture itself since it’s not only education that binds us together. There are other factors like the rules and regulations
SPECIAL REQUEST; just like we have a national dressing code for Kenya, let’s come up with one for MOI UNIVERSITY too!