Cultural Displays : Opportunities To Promote Living Together

Royal funeral celebrations, especially in most parts of the country go beyond the mere display of the rich cultures through traditional dances.  Leaders of the various communities use the occasion to establish and cement peace pacts. They also serve as the occasion to iron out any likely differences in order to pave the way for the main occasion. Without the intervention of any government or external powers, leaders of the various communities, of late have been making good use of the age-old traditional and cultural diplomacy to resolve their differences, define their cooperation priorities and the effective ways of implementation. The end result is peace between their villages and other ethnic groups. By inviting guests from across the national territory and beyond, cultural manifestations have become the lieu par excellence, to bring people from all walks of life to know one another and learn the realities that make the various communities different or similar. Such gatherings make for perfect social cohesion among the multiplicity of ethnic groups in the country. 
The traditional ruler of Oku, His Royal Majesty Ngum IV after leading the delegation of the Oku community to condole with the people of Mankon on the last day of ‘Nikwi ne Abubte’, the funeral of iconic Fo Angwafo III of Mankon on January 14, 2023 placed the event within the context of fostering peace and living together. Fon Ngum IV on his Facebook page declared, “We aspire to use our cultural ties to promote living together, peace and social solidarity and harmony. We must put our cultural values at the forefront of our cultural diplomacy.”
The funeral celebration of departed Fo Angwafo III that lasted from December 15, 2022 to January 14, 2023 brought cultural diplomacy to the fore which has become endemic to the North West and West grass field regions of Cameroon. The current traditional ruler of Mankon, Fo Angwafo IV each day received delegations from several ethnic groups in the country. They did not only come to condole with the Mankon people, but more importantly to consolidate and/or create traditional diplomatic relationships.
Still in line with cultural displays, in almost all parts of Cameroon today, there is an upsurge of planned cultural displays that take the form of cultural weeks. The “Nguon” which is the cultural festival of the Bamoun people of the West Region has over the years been a converging point for cultures as people from all over Cameroon and beyond see it as a rallying point for learning and sharing. The “Ngondo” festival of the Sawa people of Douala has equally become a melting pot. Elsewhere, in the country and not being exhaustive, there is the “Nyem-Nyem” festival in Galim Tignere in the Adamawa Region and the “Nyang-Nyang” festival of the Bafoussam and Baleng peoples in the West Region. The town of Limbe in the South West Region has over the years excelled in uniting the various communities in the locality including those from other countries who reside in the town to show their sense of unity in diversity. Under the late Mayor of Limbe, Andrew Motanga, the town has served as a crowd-puller during such festivals thereby serving as a source of envy to many. Such gatherings have even provided unique opportunities for economic activities besides enhancing their desire to live together and promote cultural harmony. Efforts of that nature can speak volumes for a country like Cameroon that is home to a mosaic of cultures and peoples. 
Even flashing back at the initial driving force behind such moves, the organization of cultural festivals in most communities is to celebrate the historic victories, project the somehow superiority of their cultures and also project the diverse traditional values. When the cultural events were initiated, the peoples of the various communities thought they were just an internal affair during which initiation into some traditional societies could also be done. However, over the years, the festivals have gone beyond their territorial limits as some neighbouring communities out of solidarity also bring dance groups that display during such events.
Cultural displays, be they funeral celebrations, cultural weeks or the visits of traditional rulers to urban cosmopolitan parts of the country and abroad, are increasingly becoming occasions to promote Cameroon’s diversity and wealth, peace and more importan...



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