Talents, diverse cuisine showcase Nairobi International Cultural Festival
The real meaning of the world being a global village made a lot of sense to a section of Nairobi residents on Saturday. Thanks to the free entry, which allowed Nairobi residents of various ages to walk in from midmorning until evening.
A cultural exhibition event with representatives from different embassies hosted in the country showcased their cultures, which wowed the audience with the diverse and rich cultures in the respective countries.
“I do beadwork, fabric, and painting. I’ve come to learn what other countries do that is different from mine so that I can get inspiration and I have seen the beautiful things they have,” Cynthia Aluoch told Nation Digital.
Kenya enjoys multilateral relations with the countries whose embassies and consulates each had a booth to showcase their cultures. For example, the Chinese embassy in Kenya showcased its lion dance, face changing, dance, Chinese Kungfu, arts, and cuisine at the event.
“It feels very nice to serve Kenyans Chinese foods, we made it less spicy, and Kenyan people are enjoying it a lot here. I have noticed that Kenyan people love Chinese hamburgers very much,” says Cao Mei Jun, the Chinese chef.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Kenya. Chinese embassy partners with the Confucius Institute of the University of Nairobi and offers the Chinese language to Kenyan students interested in the Chinese language and culture. The language has grown its popularity among students.
“When my elder brother enrolled in the Chinese language class I used to accompany him to his classes. I later developed an interest before I also enrolled. I enjoy singing Chinese songs. Today I have a great platform to showcase my singing talent,” says Darrell Nyaema.
Besides the fascinating experience of the diverse cultures, international friends also got an opportunity to know each other. Botswana, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Morocco, and the Philippines are among the countries whose embassies showcased their cultures.
“We are like brothers and sisters here. At every festival, we put mango leaves because they give oxygen and help us when we have many visitors to reduce the chances of getting an infection or virus. Whatever our culture is, there is a scientific reason behind it,” says Prachee Anand Joshi, the Indian Swamini group choreographer,
PS tourism, John Ololtua termed the 8th Nairobi International Cultural Festival a testament to the duty and power of multilateral collaboration with the respective countries. According to him, the event presented a better and unique opportunity for the countries to embrace the richness of cultures, traditions, and the shaped experiences of humanity.
“It is more crucial than ever before to foster mutual understanding and appreciation for one another’s heritage culture in all its forms as the extraordinary ability to transient borders, language barriers, and preconceived ideas opening our hearts and minds to new perspectives and shared aspirations,” said PS Ololtua.
The event took place at the National Museum of Kenya, the flagship brand for the National Museums of the country. The Snake Park, Botanical Gardens, a conducive environment due to the tree conservations, and a section of Nairobi river that passes through are part of the natural resources that attract tourists. Within Nairobi, there is also Nairobi National Park, another tourist attraction site in the capital city.
“I have seen the numbers of tourism grow up to 1.4 million projecting that within the next one or two years, the numbers will grow because of the plans that we have put in place as a government to transform the tourism sector,” the tourism PS said.
The festival took place ten years since Nairobi hosted its first International Cultural Festival. The festival has continued to bring the country together with other countries through various cultural exchange programs and exhibitions. State agencies such as the Tourism Board, The Bomas of Kenya, and Kenya Utalii College also attended the Saturday event.