Brothers, Sisters, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today 28th of February 2017, we gather together again for the PCJ Cultural day. Allow to say a few things, before we begin.
What is it? The PCJ cultural day is one of our PCJ-family events. Briefly, the PCJ cultural day is a moment when the PCJ family celebrates the cultural diversity of its members. It is held every year, on ‘Shrove Tuesday’ – the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. When people elsewhere are celebrating ‘carnevale”, here we celebrate the cultural day.
What do we do? Normally, students from different houses of formation present the different ‘traditional – cultural’ dances. We try to appreciate and respect each other’s culture.
What is the purpose? As with most of the things we do in this institute, the PCJ cultural day has a formative role. All the young people in this institute are training to become missionaries. They will spend a good part of their life, living and working in cultures other than their own. Now, before you go out, one of the aims of our educational program is to create a greater awareness of our cultural values and the need to preserve them. That is why this event should be taken as one more important item, in our educational program.
As in many aspects of life, a bit more could be done to improve our cultural day. Besides the traditional dances, perhaps some more events could be organized to increase the understanding of issues around cultural diversity. In that line, last year a suggestion was made – that the next cultural day should have a specific theme. That ‘next’ cultural day’ would have been this one. Such themes would have included: The traditional marriage, naming children, birth of twins, cleansing from curses, death and the funeral rites, witchcraft, politics and Human sexuality- in our traditional societies. Every one of these topics is very pertinent to our society today. There’s simply not enough time to do whatever we might dream about. It is already important that we can do this much.
Lastly the student leaders who will take us through this event: Thank you very much.
Fr. Patrick Benywanira, MCCJ
Cultural Day Chaplain