| Effective communication among different communities, religious groups and amongst different countries, is referred to as dialogue. As long as different people from the world over reach a common consensus, then one may say there is dialogue. In the same vein, the promotion of understanding among different cultures can only be achieved when there is dialogue. The set of values and norms observed and cherished by different societies form what is known as culture. In other wards, culture is a social, political and economic way of life lived by different societies the world over. Culture is varied from society to society. For example, the African Traditional Society(ATS) cherishes some values which may not necessarily be cherished by other societies in America, middle East, Europe or Asia. Therefore, every society is unique of its culture. However, whether American, Western, Asian or African culture, all aim at creating societies’ morals and towards creating harmony amongst the peoples. It is therefore very important to promote dialogue and understanding among different cultures. People of different cultures can begin to appreciate through the following ways.
Through the use of media, dialogue among different cultures can be promoted. Media consists of radio and television stations plus news papers. For instance, in Uganda the “Ganda” culture is being passed on to the young generation by the help of the kingdom’s radio, Central Broadcasting Service (CBS). Although it is currently off air due to political reasons, CBS radio has had programs that not only promote Luganda dialect but also teaching the history of Buganda as a kingdom to the young generation and the interested parties. Therefore, media more so television and radio stations play a pivotal role in disseminating information on culture. I thus challenge societies that would like their culture to be appreciated by others to at least have community radio stations, just as most societies in Uganda have done following Buganda’s success.
By organizing cultural galas. Both local and international cultural festivals play a big role towards promoting understanding among the different cultures across the world. For instance, in Uganda Makerere university has promoted understanding among different cultures through the annual cultural exhibitions. Here international students showcase their culture that may perhaps not have been known to other students of the host country (Uganda). It should be noted here that in the process of showcasing their way of life, the rest get to appreciate and it is another way of attracting tourists to one’s country of origin.
In addition to the above; music, dance and drama promotes dialogue and understanding among different cultures. With drama, one gets to know and appreciate another culture. This is possible when one watches a play on a theme pertaining a particular society. Also poems too are essential as far as culture is concerned. For instance, a poem “Uganda the pearl of Africa,” One can not hesitate to come to Uganda to feel the most beautiful climate ever on the African continent, and also can not fail to see the highly organized kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro and Busoga among others. The poem describes the endowments of Uganda in terms of climate, good soils, natural vegetation and people’s hospitality. Therefore, poems are a store of culture which are essential tools for one to use to share their culture and make it understood by other people. outlined below are also other ways of promoting culture and understanding among different cultures:
Through internet and online social networks
Through local and international study trips (for the case of students)
If communication among different cultures was effective, their would be understanding among themselves. The recent tragedy where the Buganda Royal tombs, the world’s cultural heritage site(as recognized by UNESCO)were burnt to ashes on the 16th March 2010, justify the fact that the failure to understand and appreciate one’s culture can be disastrous. The Rwanda genocide of 1994 is greatly attributed to ethnic misunderstandings. It is indeed a pity to the fellow youths of this generation as some of their parents have not fully played their part in instilling cultural values in them.
MAKERERE UNIVERSITY KAMPALA, Uganda
TEL +256 774 831 870
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NAME: SSEKAMAANYA DENIS
HOME TOWN: KAMPALA
EDUCATION: BACHELOR OF
UNIVERSITY: MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
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