Martin Juma:《Kenya’s Culture》

ojijuma07@gmail.com

National heritage is considered an intrinsic national resource and socio-cultural phenomenon that epitomizes the value of a nation or community; it is normally generational in nature. Culture is one of the main components of national heritage, and it involves human practices, beliefs and behaviour that are articulated in the society. Culture is deemed to be civilization and it involves a continuous process of the changes in individual’s rituals, beliefs, and values over a given period. Culture also denotes the social and economic system of human beings and it describes the relationship of human beings with the environment on their quest to survive. Kenya is one of the countries that are rich in cultural heritage that is as a result of the diversified cultural background of the 42 tribal communities.

Since independence, in 1963, the Kenyan Government has developed Department of Culture in which it is mandated in safeguarding, protecting and developing Kenya’s cultural heritage. The department ensures that the community is encouraged to participate in different development programmes that supports national cultural heritage. It has supported cultural groups and cultural festivals that are rooted in schools and community groupings. In achieving its global goal, the department has commenced numerous cultural programmes ranging from language development, visual arts, performing arts, positive traditions and customs. Education on cultural aspects has also been undertaken by the department. Conservation of these cultural heritage and diverse beliefs has been directed to the National Museums of Kenya, and they have the legal right to safeguard any integral component of music and culture.

With numerous tribal communities across Kenya, it is difficult for them to be identified with a single culture. Kenya has been a region of unending cultural multiplicity, disparity, and change. This is depicted by the different regional individuals across the country like Swahili people who are living at the coast, pastoralist communities that reside in the Northern part of the country and various communities residing in the Western and Central regions of the country. Kenya has different tribal states that were characterized by shift in power and migration. During the colonial period, Kenya demonstrated its hospitality as it allowed individuals across the globe to meet in the region.

The country is rich in music from different cultural groups, and it is known across the globe as the home for sophisticated musical instruments. Different ethnic groups have different musical instruments that are made from different materials that include shells, horns, reeds, hide, gourds and bamboo. However, the playing techniques and musical instruments that the communities rely have an obscure origin, which prevents them from having a clear informational background of the origin of the musical instruments. The Kalenjin, Kisii, Luhya, and Luo communities have sophisticated musical instruments, and with the advancement in technology, each community aims at providing instruments that gel with the changing times. The Kenyan children are aware of the significance of the musical culture in the region, and they often learn the skills of making the musical instruments in the early stages of their life. Some of the materials they use include strings, metal, shells and leaves.

The Luhya, who are the occupants of the Western part of the country, are known for their dancing style of Sikuti—which is the local name that is referred to drum. The Chuka and Kamba people have a distinct drumming style that is characterized by athletic and acrobatic dancing. Luos, who reside along the lake region, are known for the development of string musical instrument known as Nyatiti. Along the coastal region of the country, the occupants are influenced by the culture of Swahili, and their music has a unique style known as the Taarab.

The Kenyan communities participate in nomadism, pastoralism, fishing and farming. Along the lake region, their economic activity is fishing. The Northern part of the country is majorly characterized by nomadism, as the weather condition in the region is unfavourable. The society moves from one region to other searching for greener pastures and water for their animals. This trend has been in the norm with the Maasai and Kalenjin communities. The coastal and central Kenya practices farming, in which they have specialized in irrigation farming. This has not only seen them sustain their living, but also generate additional income.

In the religion aspect, the country is endowed with numerous religious denominations that include Christianity, Hindu, and Muslim among others. It is in Kenya where numerous churches are found following the migration of foreigners into the region. Although there are majority of churches in the region, the society has an escalating crime rate especially in the urban regions. Apart from the modern churches existing in Kenya, traditional religious groupings are also evident in some areas, majorly in rural settings. Some of these religious denominations include Dini ya Msambwa that is practised in the Western part of Kenya. The government of Kenya understands the diversity in the religious settings, and often conducts inter-denominational prayers that aim at uniting the different denominations in the country. Indeed, Kenya is rich in cultural heritage.

肯尼亚文化

作者:马丁-札马 ,翻译:霏雪

民族遗产,被认为是一种固有的 民族资源和社会文化现象,是一个民族或社会价值的缩影;它通常由自然逐代演变而来。文化是民族遗产的重要组成部分之一,它涉及人类实践,信仰和行为,并在 社会中得以体现。文化被视为文明,由个人礼仪,信仰和价值观在一定时期内的演变而组成。文化也代表着人类社会和经济的制度,它描述了人类与生存环境之间的 联系。肯尼亚有42个部落群体的多元化文化背景,是一个有丰富文化遗产的国家。

自独立以来,肯尼亚政府于 1963年成立了文化部门,授权维护,保护和发展肯尼亚的文化遗产。该部门致力于鼓励群众参与各种支持和保护全国文化遗产的发展计划,并支持那些起源于学 校或者社会群体的文化团和文化节。为实现其全球目标,该部门已着手于众多文化规划,从发展语言,视觉艺术,表演艺术,到有价值的传统和习俗,并且承担文化 教育方面的职责。这些文化遗产的保护和多元化的信仰已经直接由肯尼亚国家博物馆管理,并且他们有合法的权利来保障任何音乐和文化中不可分割的组成部分。

众多的部落群体导致肯尼亚难以 成为一个文化整体,它是个一直存在着多元文化,差异和变化的国家。这些是根据全国各地人的描述,包括居住在海岸边的斯瓦希里语人,北部地区的牧民,以及各 个居住在西部和中部地区的人。肯尼亚不同的部落随着政局的变更和人群的迁移而改变,在殖民统治时期,各国人民可聚集在这个国家,人民表现得非常热情。

不同的文化背景使肯尼亚的音乐 多姿多彩,因此被称为是世界上拥有最复杂乐器的国家。不同的种族有不同的乐器,由不同的材料制作而成,其中包括了贝壳,牛角,芦苇,皮,葫芦和竹子。然 而,各个群体的演奏技巧和乐器,都源于一个模糊的起源,所以他们对于乐器的背景起源都难以有一个明确的信息。卡兰津族,凯西族,卢希亚族,和卢奥族都有着 复杂的乐器。并且,随着科技的进步,各个种族创造出迎合时代变迁的乐器。肯尼亚的孩子们都深知音乐文化在该地区的价值,所以他们在年幼的时候便开始学习制 作乐器的技能,制作材料包括绳子,金属,贝壳和树叶。

卢希亚族位于肯尼亚的西部,因 他们的Sikuti(一种与鼓相关的本地舞蹈名)舞蹈风格而出名。丘卡和康巴人有一个独特的击鼓风格,它包含着运动和杂技舞蹈的特点。卢奥人居住沿湖区 域,以其弦乐器而出名,其中最著名的是一种叫做“Nyatiti”的乐器。沿海岸地区居民由于受到斯瓦希里文化的影响,他们的音乐具有独特的风格,被称为 “Taarab”。

肯尼亚人从事游牧业,畜牧业, 渔业和农业。沿湖地区的经济形式是渔业;而北部地区,因不利的气候而以游牧为主。他们从一个地区迁移到另一个地区,为蓄畜寻找牧草丰富、水资源富足的牧 场。这种形式在与马赛族和卡兰津族人中甚是寻常。沿海地区和中部地区的人则从事农业,他们有专门的灌溉耕作方式。这不仅可维持他们自己的生活,还能增加额 外的收入。

在宗教方面,肯尼亚拥有着众多 的宗教教派,其中包括基督教,印度教,穆斯林教,等等。因外国人迁移到该地区而出现的许多教堂,都显迹于肯尼亚。虽然大多数地区都有教会,但社会犯罪率却 不断上升,尤其在城市地区。除了肯尼亚现有的现代教会,传统的宗教团体在一些地区也比较常见,尤其是在农村地区。这些宗教派别包括“Dini ya Msambwa”,它在肯尼亚的西部地区盛行。肯尼亚政府对宗教环境的多样性甚是理解,并为团结国内不同教派,经常举办教派间的祈祷活动。显而易见,肯尼 亚是一个有丰富文化遗产的国家。

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