Friday, 12 December 2008

Lugbara Cultural Adrenaline

When a society is strong and proud of its culture, it is not easy for an individual to convert to another culture. The sense of group identity and solidarity tends to weld the community together as a coherent whole. Lugbara Culture is a set of enduring behaviours, values, ideas, traditions and attitudes that are accepted by a homogenous group of Lugbara people and transmitted from one generation to the next.

While others speak Japanese, let's speak Lugbara and keep it local. Cultural alienation continues up to today through radio, print, TV and video, typical symbols of neo-imperialism. Youths have abandoned traditional morals and are behaving like wild animals. They love the use of foreign languages while downgrading their vernacular or mixing it with unnnecessary foreign phrases. They admire foreign music to the exclusion of local music. The women (Amvusia) bleach their skin, paint the lips and fingers while wearing trousers. They even go as far as refusing their cultural identity and heritage.

Culture can be defined as the total commonly shared way of life in any society. Activities are simply elements within the totality of culture; They constitute subcultures which include shared customs, language, dress, games, food, fighting techniques, technology and architecture. Culture is an expression of the diversity in life and revolves around learned behaviours as well as beliefs, attitudes, values and ideals that characterise society. It is a celebration of people's way of life. Without culture, we would not have myths, taboos, legends, superstitions and of course music. The Lugbara People are the Largest Ethnic group in West Nile. They came from Rajaf in the Juba Region or Baar in Bari Sudan and their diaspora spreads into Kampala, Busoga, Bunyoro, DR Congo, United Kingdom and the States. Music is a very binding characteristic of the Lugbara culture and their folk songs are being fused with modern styles and instruments to produce a breed of characteristic (Lugbara) music we love to call Ongo Music. This kind of music championed by artistes such as J Hope Gospel Band, Leku Culture of the 'Angaika' fame, Moses "Razor" Ezale who sang the 'Tereza' hit about a heart-breaking love experience, the thematically talented Betty Atiku and Gladys Ayakaka (based in the United Kingdom), deejay Ronnie (inspirational Producer at Arua One FM), New Breed Deejays, Bada Culture and Nyakuta (who died in May 2007) is slowly becoming today's mainstream and universal Symbol of Lugbara Culture.