Strife-wracked Darfur keeps vivid cultural tradition

08:42, December 24, 2009      

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Kenin, a folkloric troupe belonging to the Arab tribe of Tawariq in Darfur, started singing and dancing, attracting many nearby people of other tribes to join them to share the joy.

Kenin's perform was characterized by quick movements of male and female dancers. Female dancers clapped their hands while the men were dancing and stamping in the rhythm of the music.

"We inherited the singing and dancing from our ancestors," Hamid Mussa, a member of Kenin troupe, told Xinhua.

Meriam Ahmed el-Badawe, director general of North Darfur's Ministry of Culture, told Xinhua that "Though the song and the dance belong to a certain tribe, people from other tribes join the singing and dancing. This reflects the great harmony among the tribes of Darfur community.

"It indicates the cultural and traditional interrelation," she added.

Despite the armed conflicts, the restive Sudanese region of Darfur is still keeping a vivid cultural memory as people still maintained their heritage and traditions, among them folkloric troupes and Hakamas (traditional female singers) are representative.

The folkloric songs in Darfur are different as they reflect each tribe's own culture. Contents of the songs usually express meanings of equestrian, generosity and courage.

As wording of songs and means of performing may vary from one tribe to another, there is still a common factor linking them. Allsongs and dances express the culture of the whole region without regard to race.

However, peaceful life nowadays has become a common theme of the folkloric songs, as the Darfurians are longing for the peaceful coexistence in the region.

"All the songs call for peace and peaceful coexistence. The Darfurians, who have got tired of war and realized the importance of returning to their past stable life, share the same dream of peace," said el-Badawe.

Besides the folkloric troupes, Darfur is also known for its Hakama.

The Hakama is a traditional female singer and poet. She is more like a spokeswoman that speaks out the social, political and economic conditions of a tribe or a community through thrilling poems.

Throughout the ages, the Hakama in Darfur has managed to be an effective part in the life of the community.

"Darfur society stands on a strong social fabric and the Hakamaplays an important role in uniting the people and keeping the society well-structured," said Abdalla Adam Khatir, a Darfurian journalist and a member of the Artists Alliance for Darfur Peace.

"Hakama in Darfur constitutes a media, mobilization and guidance institution, she mobilizes the people during war time and urges them for generosity and nobility during peace," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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