President Commends Bainunka Association for Revival of Cultural Identity
President Adama Barrow commended the Bainunka Family Association of The Gambia for taking the initiative of reviving the cultural identity of a diminishing ethnic group in the country. He made the remarks during the Association’s courtesy call to the presidency on Wednesday, 3rd February 2021.
The President called on all citizens to be proud of their identity while embracing their citizenship. He observed that through intermarriage, minority groups have been dominated which does not mean they cannot express their cultural identity. The president described their initiative as timely, saying that it came at the time of the political epoch of the country that ensures freedom of expression and promotion of cultural heritage for a better society. He reiterated his call for patriotism in the face of political diversity.
President Barrow observed that the Association’s programme of activities, including research, sensitization, and education as well as addressing the theme on peace and security, would contribute to the realisation of his government’s policy to promote peace and stability in the country and amongst the people. Thus, he said, it is appropriate for all to take responsibility and leadership in promoting peace, tolerance and diversity at their levels.
The head of State reminded the Bainunka Association’s executive that they are in positions of trust and urged them to work in solidarity.
Speaking earlier, the representatives, Tumani Sambou, Babucarr Sambou and Awa Biyagi all echoed their Association’s commitment to revive the cultural heritage of the Bainunka, through research, sensitization, the teaching of the language to the younger generation as well as hold cultural festivals to promote and display their heritage.
Registered in 2019, the Bainunka Family Association is also advocating for the ethnic to be recognized and included under the ethnic group in the National Census. The Secretary General of the Association said their shared values are respect and love for self and others, peaceful co-existence, equal treatment, love for country, and peacebuilding.
The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honourable Hamat Bah, said the Barrow Administration prides itself on promoting cultural diversity and that his ministry has a Cultural Policy in 2018, part of which is the revival of all cultural identities through festivals. He informed them that in 2019, half a million was allocated to cultural festivals, which is part of the regional and continental efforts to revive minority languages. Minister Bah pledged that his Ministry will support the Bainunka Association in conducting its research and other activities. He commended them for registering with the National Council for Arts and Culture.
Also present was the Minister of Local Government, Land, Regional Government and Religious Affairs, Honourable Musa Drammeh.