By Rev Fr. Ignatuius Alfred Eneche.
It was an exciting day for the Parishioners of St. Joseph’s parish, Agwara as they celebrated their Cultural Day. It is said that man being a social being by nature has a lot of activities that make him who he is with gratitude to God for his benevolence. It was on the 13th day of May, 2019 the Parish had the Kambari cultural day celebration at which different Kambari cultural dances from across the Parish and even outside the Parish were displayed.
The event started with a Holy Mass was presided over by His Lordship, Most Rev. Bulus Dauwa Yohanna, and concelebrated by the Vicar General Administration, Very Rev. Fr. Isa Emmanuel Saliu, the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Ignatius Alfred Eneche and Rev. Fr. Luka Joseph Tatan. The Bishop in his homily said, that the gathering was to remember the Kambari Cultural heritage. He encouraged all the parishioners to be up and doing and not to forget their cultural heritage. The second phase of the celebration was the cultural displays which was talk of the town in Agwara and its environs. The event also featured different talks by experts on culture, justice and peace, education, farming, health matters and, of course, politics. This event brought together Christians, Muslims and the traditionalists, Catholics and the non-Catholics to partake in the blessings. There was a great deal of unity in diversity on display as the event unfolded.
The Parish Priest of St Joseph Catholic Church Agwara, Rev. Fr. Ignatius Alfred in an interview with the Director of Communications, Kontagora Vicariate said the reason for which the Cultural Day was organized was to remember and revive the Kambari cultural dances so that they should not be forgotten or lost. He stated that it was to revisit, appreciate and celebrate the rich and beautiful God-given culture of the people and be proud to promote it. The Director said the event provided a good opportunity to have a firsthand experience of different Kambari dances and, more importantly, it is also a way of evangelization. He stated that the event is a means of proclaiming to the world that Christ lives, accepts, and accommodates us with our cultural values that are not contrary to God’s commandments. He said the event which attracted not only Christians but also people of other religious faiths is an indication that God welcomes all into his one family without discrimination. After the event, token gifts and prizes were given to participants. Thereafter, the Chairman of the Planning Committee gave his vote of thanks appreciating those who made the event a remarkable success.
The closing prayer was said by a Catechist of Agwara Parish while the final blessing was given by His Lordship Most Rev. Bulus Dauwa Yohanna.
As the participants look forward to another edition next year, it is important to remind ourselves that Culture is the way of life of a people and religion will be meaningful and pragmatic when rooted in the culture of its adherent.