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Four reasons to come to our Ugandan Cultural Evening

Claire Gapare in the garden
Photo: Student blogger Claire Gapare, enjoying a sunny day in the garden.

Transporting matoke
Photo: Transporting bananas. (Photo by Elisa Banfi, used under a Creative Commons license.)


Slide show: Uganda's Watoto Children's Choir at a Bread for the World gathering in 2011.

Rwenzori mountains by Jorn Eriksson
Ugandan Cultural Evening flyer
Flyer: Come to our Ugandan Cultural Evening!

14 February 2014

Claire Gapare is a second year Pestalozzi student from Zimbabwe. You can read her previous blog post here. Our Ugandan Cultural Evening is on Thursday 20 February 2014, from 6:30pm.

OK, let me break down for you. Uganda, formally called the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Popularly known as the Emerald Pearl of Africa, Uganda is one of the most culturally alive, vibrant and friendly countries in the neighbourhood. It has a population of 34 million, 10 national parks with over 2000 bird species, pleasant weather the year around and evergreen sunny plains – what more can you want from a country? So, with that said, what better way to get more insight into such a lovely place than to come to our Ugandan Cultural Evening on Thursday 20 February. And here are four reasons why you should.

1. Ugandan food

As they say in The Hobbit, "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." And believe you me, Uganda has the best cuisines to tickle those taste-buds. Many dishes are centred on sauce, cassava, yam, African sweet potato, beans and meat. To give you a taste of Ugandan food, we will be serving Matoke, a popular Ugandan dish made from bananas. Timothy, one of my friends from Uganda organising the cultural night told me, "Matoke is what defines us, without Matoke, it’s not food for the Ugandan." It must be scrumptious!

2. Ugandan cultures and languages

With around 40 different languages and over 60 ethnic groups, Uganda is a richly cultural diverse country. It’s amazing that with so many different origins harmony can still be attained in the country – this is one thing that makes Uganda stand out. These different cultures and languages mean Uganda boasts a variety of clothes, so to spice up the night there will be lots of Ugandan clothes for you to see and try on. As though that’s not enough, you can also learn how to say hello and all those other short phrases in Luganda (the mostly wide spoken language in Uganda). Now that is what I call fun!

3. Ugandan geography

"It’s green everywhere!" This is what Timothy said when I asked him for one sentence to describe the Ugandan plains. I’m sure you have heard of the River Nile, one of the wonders of the world, and you probably think it’s in Egypt. You’re right, of course, but it’s also in Uganda! This is just one of the amazing geographical features in Uganda. I was actually surprised, after talking to Habiiba, one of Pestalozzi’s Ugandan students, when she mentioned Mountain Rwenzori (the tallest mountain in Africa) saying, "I know you think Uganda is hot, but this will blow your mind. Mountain Rwenzori is so high that at the highest point it snows." I would never have known that if it wasn’t for Habiiba’s insight. This is just a tip of the iceberg, so if you want to learn more about the breath-taking physical features of Uganda, make sure you don’t miss our Ugandan Cultural Evening.

4. Did you know?

  • Uganda gained independence from Britain in 1962
  • The Ugandan motto is "For God and my country"
  • The Gray Crowned Crane is Uganda’s official bird
  • Uganda has the youngest population in the world – over half of the population are children
  • Uganda has the best pineapple you have ever eaten!
  • Uganda has the more chimpanzees and more butterflies of every colour than any other Eastern African country

So, my best advice for you if you want to feel Ugandan for a couple of hours: pop over to our Ugandan Cultural Evening on Thursday 20 February – it will be an evening full of joy and good surprises. See you there!

[Update: Read a review of the evening!]