The Calabar Arts-Crafts and Cultural Village came alive last Wednesday as two socio-cultural groups – Nka Okpoho and Nka Asian, came together to celebrate their cultural heritage, at the Calabar Arts-Crafts and Cultural Village, Cultural Centre, Calabar.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development and a member of Nka Okpoho, Mr. Eric Anderson said that despite the Carnival Calabar not holding in the year 2020 due to the pandemic, people should still have something tangible and intangible, which is culture, to hold on to.
In his response to how people are taking the news about the annual Carnival Calabar and Festival not holding, Mr. Anderson said, that it is better for these events not to hold and for everyone to be in good health to be able to celebrate again after the world is done fighting the virus, than holding it and spreading the virus.
Also reacting to the fact that the Carnival will not be holding, the Executive Secretary, Cross River State Carnival Commission, Hon. Austin Cobham, said that patience and understanding is what everyone needs in such times as governments worldwide are putting safety first and Cross River State is not an exception.
Commending the creation of the Calabar Arts-Crafts and Cultural Village and the Nka Okpoho and Nka Asian cultural celebration, the Executive Secretary reiterated that culture and tradition has been before civilization and colonization and as such anyone or group of people that decide to cling to foreign cultural imports by neglecting their cultural heritage will lose their future.
“Our organic African culture is not evil as pictured. The truth is that culture is also evolving. The way culture and tradition was practiced years ago is not the same today and it would definitely change in the future. So we need to hold on to our languages, dances, dressing and everything else that gives us our identity.” He added.
Comprising of men and women, of the Efik, Efut and Qua stock, Nka Okpoho and Nka Asian, which means “Wealthy Age Grade and Exhibitionist Age Grade”, entertained with masquerade displays, folklores, songs and dances, that tell the story of the Efik people.
By: Achiane Adams