By Aaron Berhane September 2008 The organizers of Eritrean festivals should be praised for organizing these festivals regularly. These events entertai...
By Aaron Berhane
The organizers of Eritrean festivals should be praised for organizing these festivals regularly. These events entertain our community with traditional music and help us to remember our culture. They give us a chance to see and buy arts, crafts, clothes, and other artifacts that reflect our culture. That really encourages the producers. The sports activities also play a role in displaying the spirit of our youth.
Although the festivals have many good qualities, they still have major weaknesses. As before, the organizers never paid any attention to educational matters. There was no platform at all to encourage children to pursue education. How many students did graduate from high school? And how many graduated with diplomas or degrees? How many youth moved on to colleges or universities? We would have liked to see our graduates called up onto the stage and given certificates of encouragement for their achievements. But these issues never crossed the minds of the organizers.
The festivals are celebrated between the end of one academic year and the beginning of and the beginning of the next. It’s a good forum for us to evaluate our past and project the future; to trigger the dying interest of youth in education; to discuss how we can reduce the number of dropouts and the misunderstandings that occur between parents and children. Yes, if these issues had received the same attention as the propaganda that was perpetuated at the festivals, our community would have made good progress. Unfortunately, due to the negligence of the organizers, the important issues of our community were ignored. But what was the problem though?
Our community doesn’t yet have the power to organize these festivals. For years, the same hand-picked people have been organizing them. Either due to a lack of creativity or because the organizers wish to pursue their own agendas, they have been delivering the same program year after year. They focus only on generating more income instead of addressing the core issues of the festivals.
What’s past is past. Our community must now take over the organization of these festivals. We should come together despite our different religious or political views and address the important issues of our community. We must rise now, if we wish to fix the broken parts of our community and cultivate our progress. If we continue to ignore the organization of these festivals and leave it in the control of the hand-picked committee, we will never see any improvement. Then, we will only have ourselves to blame. Let’s do something now.