Cultural Day: Focus on awakening Norms and Cultural Values as a path to mindset change

Cultural Day: Focus on awakening Norms and Cultural Values as a path to mindset change
One of the Exhibitors dressed in cultural attire

Culture, the fabric that weaves together the diverse tapestry of humanity, holds immense potential for driving positive change.

On May 21st, 2023, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) in partnership with Uganda National Cultural Centre, Total Energies Uganda, and others, came together at the National Theatre to celebrate World Cultural Day. Under the theme of "Awakening Our Norms and Cultural Values as a Tool for Mindset Change," this event shed light on the profound impact that embracing cultural heritage can have on shaping a better future.

Barbra Babwetweera, the Executive Director of Cross-Cultural Foundation Uganda, passionately emphasized the importance of reverting to our norms and values as a nation, highlighting the consequences of neglecting our cultural roots.

“We have seen increased poor habits for example, corruption in the country. We've seen recently murders happening every time and again, we've seen poor use of our land resources. We've seen poor relationships. We've seen marriages and families breaking down.” She said.

With over 65 ethnic groups, Uganda is a tapestry of diverse traditions, norms, and values. Each group holds its own unique set of cultural principles that guide and shape the way of life for its people. Babwetweera stressed the significance of embracing and preserving these cultural norms and values, as they serve as the compass for mindset change within our communities. By neglecting them, we risk losing our cultural identity and the wisdom embedded within our traditions.

Cultural norms and values are not merely relics of the past; they provide a strong foundation for tackling contemporary challenges. Babwetweera highlighted the pressing issues faced by Ugandan society, such as corruption, rising crime rates, mismanagement of land resources, and strained relationships. These issues, she argued, could be effectively addressed by reconnecting with our cultural heritage and leveraging the values and principles that our ancestors passed down to us.

The family unit serves as the cornerstone of any society. Babwetweera emphasized the pivotal role that cultural norms and values play in unifying families, communities, and ultimately, the nation.

“In order for us to progress, the first unit that unites us is the family and therefore, our norms and values must aim at uniting the family and with United families, we get to a united community a united community, then leads us to a united and progressive nation.” She added.

The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) has been at the forefront of promoting culture as a fundamental component of Uganda's development agenda since its establishment in 2005. CCFU recognizes that culture is often overlooked in development initiatives, resulting in unsustainable outcomes that depend solely on external thinking and resources. Their work aims to rectify this by advocating for the integration of culture into all aspects of Ugandan society, fostering an appreciation for its significance and creating a platform for cultural development.

CCFU exists to promote an appreciation of culture as vital for human development that responds to their diverse identities.