How Do We Preserve Cultural Identity, Among our Children Living in the Diaspora?
Culture and language matters. This is why the goal of NileBridge International is to "groom all our children of immigrant parents and guardians living in the Diaspora. We will capture their attention from their baby stage to at least 15 years of age.
It is set to initially benefit Ugandan children from the Buganda culture. Other beneficiaries will include all Ugandan children from other tribes whose parents or guardians would like them to learn the Buganda culture. It is also designed to attract any one else who is interested in learning about this culture and its language. Children will be equipped, knowledgeable and fully aware (EKA tool) of their Buganda or African roots. They will be ready to take on the required responsibilities that come with cultural identity.
When we consider the status quo today, there is a prevalent challenge among all our children born of Ugandan immigrants living in the diaspora. It is the absence of our own-original-children’s tools to preserve, protect, and advance our social and economic development as a people. It is the silent cancer which is killing our culture, norms, ideology, identity, and voice. Indeed, there is a desperate need for kids and their parents in the diaspora to connect to their Ugandan or African roots. What we choose to do for them today and in the years to come, can either develop their strong cultural identity or make them lose it all to Western influences.
When we create and promote our own authentic tools, we turn the page to a new chapter set to develop and guide the culture and language of our children. We free ourselves from colonial narratives which for over a century now, have robbed us of our own original cultural and ideological trajectories. NileBridge International therefore seeks to cultivate this children’s cultural identity-which in turn will increase all our diaspora children's confidence in who they really are- and where they, their parents or guardians originate from. This is why NileBridge International seeks to support parents, guardians, and community leaders as they work hard to collectively raise all our children in the diaspora. This initiative "supports various tools such as music, cartoons, Zoom classes, open houses, and language workshops to raise awareness about our children’s parents' origins, cultural identity and responsibility. We support the use of traditional folk songs, translations of useful children's Western content, storytelling, poems and rhymes in the Luganda language."
This concept is not new. In Western cultures, we have the example of Winnie the Pooh, Peppa Pig, Curious George, Scooby doo, Tom and Jerry, Superman, Wonder woman, Spider man etc. These characters were created as tools to guide and advance Western cultural values. They also inflate children's beliefs that they are invincible. Its one method that has build an over confident Western pop-culture. Unfortunately for a long time, our children have gravitated to such characters due to the absence of an authentic alternative. From now on, we as a people must create our own. But why should we?
Historically, there is concrete data and case studies to prove that language, music, rhymes, and storytelling are effective tools, families have used over the centuries to preserve culture and develop identity. This is always done in a playful manner without even forcing it onto our children. In fact, the more engaged the children are in learning languages, the more their brains will be stimulated. They are young and have uninterrupted minds. We need to capture and take advantage of this fact in its organic form.
The Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, and Latino communities living in the diaspora are solid examples of case studies. They are a step ahead when it comes to how to preserve cultural identity within the Western cultural environment. They have been successful in preserving their solid identity through their language, coding, storytelling, various forms of dancing, calligraphy, and martial arts. All these tools, have taught their children the value of responsibility, respect, discipline and work ethic while they articulate their respective languages. 90% of their children living in the Diaspora are multi-lingual. They go on to become successful global citizens. They engage their local and global communities with measured impact. We as a people from the Ugandan region can adopt this model which has succeeded in preserving Jewish, Asian and Latino American cultures for many centuries.
To address this challenge, my organization is committed to supporting all the efforts of individuals and groups or institutions who develop content which highlight the Buganda Culture through language or other tools.
NIlebridge International believes that together as the diaspora community we can address the question of how we preserve culture, norms, and ideology of the Buganda Kingdom among all Ugandan children living in the diaspora. The support we create among each other can then result in programs with specific tools, content, curriculum, strategy, implementation, monitoring and evaluation instruments-spread out over a period of the first 15 years of a child’s life living in the diaspora.
I therefore propose that the Buganda Bumu North American Convention (BBNAC) community, Uganda North American Association members and other Ugandan groups in partnership with the parents of our children living in the diaspora-along with the entire Buganda Kingdom, embrace this organic idea of preserving our culture among our children living in the diaspora. As a result, with the active participation of all stakeholders especially parents, our children in the diaspora will methodically and organically learn to speak fluent Luganda. They will effectively internalize the Buganda or African culture, norms, and ideology.
In perspective, our goal is to groom young adults who will be fully aware of their Buganda or African roots and the required responsibilities that come with it." When we do this consistently and consciously, we will continue to cultivate, protect and advance our social and economic development objectives as stipulated in the BBNAC's planned outcomes. NileBridge International is available to present this view among our Ugandan Communities in the diaspora. We encourage all Ugandans Living in the Diaspora to participate, interact and contribute to this NileBridge International initiative.
Thank you so much for visiting and reading our blogs. Feel free to peruse what we do. You can also click on the link below to let us know how we can address your 21st century need: https://www.nilebridge-int.com/contact
Also, if you want us to design your Culture | Language | Identity | (CLI) for your language, feel free to enroll here and we will start designing your CLI tool