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Cultural week celebrated at university to remind students of richness of Somali heritage


Tuesday May 14, 2024



People wearing traditional garments participate in an event of SIMAD University's cultural week in Mogadishu, Somalia, on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Hassan Bashi/Xinhua)

Amid the vibrant colors and rhythmic beats at SIMAD University's main campus, a group of boys dressed in traditional white danced energetically, their movements in sync with the heart-pounding drumbeats of Somali folk music.

The scene unfolded against a backdrop of traditional Somali food and horses as part of the university's cultural week, which began Saturday.

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Dahir Hassan Arab, rector of SIMAD University, a non-profit university based in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, highlighted the significance of the event in his opening remarks, noting that the cultural week is designed to deepen students' appreciation and understanding of Somali culture.

"We aim to instill pride in our students and remind them of the richness of Somali heritage. There is no nation superior to another; it is the hard work and preservation of culture that distinguishes us," Arab told the audience of students and faculty.

He added that the week-long event is both a celebration and an educational experience.

Hassan Abdifatah, president of the Student Government Association of SIMAD University, explained the importance of reviving and preserving Somali culture. "As Somalis, we have a rich and unique culture. It would be shameful to see it fade away. It is our responsibility to remind our peers of our cultural heritage. This week is exceptional for all of us," Abdifatah told Xinhua.

The students are key participants and beneficiaries of the event.

Zakariye Mohamed, one of the students, expressed his enthusiasm for showcasing the cultural diversity of Somalia.

"We are presenting various aspects of our culture from all regions of Somalia. We can't let the current generation forget the beautiful traditions that we inherited from our grandfathers," he said.

Mohamed added that as a young man, he has benefited from learning things he did not know before, like how to perform Somali folk dances.

Maryama Yusuf, a student from the law faculty, was also thrilled about her participation in the cultural week.

"This is my first time attending the cultural week at SIMAD, and it has been truly enlightening. I have learned about the various traditional foods and even how to use eating utensils that are specific to our countryside," she said.

As the cultural week continues, students feel like they have learned something new that will make them appreciate their customs even more.

The event is an immersive experience where the air is filled with the aromas of Somalia's national dishes, together with the sounds of folk music and cheerful conversations, creating a vibrant and unified atmosphere.

By preserving their culture through such events, the students of SIMAD University ensure that the beauty and history of Somalia will continue to inspire generations to come. 


People wearing traditional garments participate in an event of SIMAD University's cultural week in Mogadishu, Somalia, on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Hassan Bashi/Xinhua)



 





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