SANCTA MARIA NURSERY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL CELEBRATE OUR CULTURE, OUR HERITAGE, OUR PRIDE.. In today’s multi-cultural society coupled with the struggle for peace and unity in the world, the management of Sancta Maria Nursery and Primary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, deemed it fit to introduce the cultural day celebration in its extracurricular activities. Thus on 25th February, 2022, the pupils and staff celebrated their First Cultural Day.
All were colourfully dressed, smiling and exchanging greetings. Cultural music with local instruments like slit-drum, cylinder drum, gong, flute, pottery drum, thumb piano and other instruments blared from afar to welcome guests especially the parents. The arena was beautifully decorated using traditional ankara, calabash, local hand fan, woven baskets, caps and other artefacts. The atmosphere was filled with merriment.
The event started with the opening prayer as is the practise in most Nigerian gathering. There were speeches from the headmistress, Sr. Prisca Acholonou RSC and from the Chairman of the occasion. There was a presentation of kolanut as is the tradition in the southern part of Nigeria following a popular proverb which says “whoever brings kolanut, brings life”.
The pupils and staff formed six groups representing the six geopolitical zones of in Nigeria. These different groups expressed cultural diversity in forms of dancing, dressing, language, artefacts, food, and other rich heritage found among the different cultural groups in Nigeria.
The cultural parade by the different geopolitical zones was so colourful as the groups danced to the tone of their own traditional music. After the parade, the kings and queens from the different groups all sat in a special canopy where their cultural symbols were displayed. The Sancta Maria dance group came up to welcome all present as they danced to the music titled “teta nu n’ula” meaning “wake from sleep”, a music composed by late Christie Igbokwe, a popular Nigerian music icon. This was followed by the presentation of cultural symbols and food by the different geopolitical zones. The children spoke in the local dialect and explained the symbols and food presented.
Cultural dance from six geopolitical zones in Nigeria were presented and the children danced with renewed strength and vigour. There was also the expression of knowledge of the king and queen of Sancta Maria. The pupils also gave news in their local dialect titled “Akuko Uwa” meaning “World News”.
The celebration was such a colourful and God blessed the day with beautiful weather. All who attended the event went home with smiles on their faces as they tell the story of the day.
Sancta Maria Pupils dressed up for Cultural Day
RELEVANCE OF CULTURAL DAY CELEBRATION IN SCHOOLS
One would wonder, why cultural day in a school? Is the school not meant for reading and writing alone? The need for the inculcation of the right type of value, knowledge of the richness in our diversity, respect for different cultures, and the acceptance that no culture is superior to another, cannot be overemphasised. The school becomes a ground through which unity in diversity can be upheld and training the young minds to appreciate the gift of our cultural diversity.
The relevance of cultural day extends not only to the pupils but to the staff, parents, guardians and the host community. It brings about a change in their attitudes towards other cultures. The knowledge of other people’s culture helps one to appreciate and respect cultures. This respect would enhance unity, peace and harmony especially in a multi-cultural society like Nigeria.
Our culture gives us identity. Thus the cultural day aims at building the self-esteem and confidence of pupils in their cultural heritage with the awareness that in celebrating our culture, we celebrate our differences, our diversity, and we discover our common interest which is life.
Sr. Beatrice Opia, RSC
Ssters dress up for Cultural Day
Teacher with her Pupils on Cultural Day