“Tourism for All” campaign celebrates Sierra Leone’s culture and heritage in the month of May

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Sierra Leone is home to 18 ethnic groups, each with its own distinct culture, language, and tradition. These diverse groups have coexisted for centuries, creating a rich cultural mosaic that defines our nation.

Our traditional music, drama, theatre, and dance are particularly significant, characterized by rhythmic drumming, captivating dance moves, and intricate costumes. These elements play a crucial role in maintaining harmony, peace, and cohesion through our shared tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which includes food, sports, crafts, and attractions.

We are united in freedom and justice, with a strong emphasis on cultural integration, reflected in the high rates of intermarriage among various ethnic groups. Our commitment to interfaith values also promotes peace and harmony, forming an integral part of our cultural heritage.

It’s common to hear Sierra Leoneans greet each other in various dialects, not just in widely spoken Krio phrases like “Unu Adu Oh,” “Ekushe,” and “Ekabo,” but also in greetings such as “Tanamasie” in Madingo, “Njarama” in Fullah, “Ndeerai Sekeh/Imperie” in Temne, “Buwaa/Awuana” in Mende, and “Wali” in Limba.

What have you done to celebrate or appreciate our rich cultural heritage? If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us at the Northern edition of our Salone Festival in Makeni on Thursday, 23rd May, at the Wusum Hotel, or at our Open Air Carnival at the Gigibonta Car Park, Lumley Beach, on Saturday, 25th May.

There will be live cultural performances by local artists, the Reggae Union SL, the National Dance Troupe, and theatre groups presenting short skits, among others. Come dance to the rhythms of our bubu and goombay music in your Gara, Batik, Ronko, Kontri cloth, and more, and proudly identify yourself as part of the land that we love.

Entrance is free, and we welcome everyone, whether you’re Bullom, Susu, Loko, Limba, Vai, Kru, Kissi, Yalunka, Koranko, Sherbro, Krim, young or old…all walks of life. Let’s raise the bar, mingle, and showcase how much we value our identity. Let’s thank God—‘KassiTatama’ (Kono)—for Sierra Leone while we join hands to bring back our Lantern parade and other traditional attractions we yearn for.

Remember,Tourism is everyone’s business!

The writer, Nabeela Farida Tunis is Sierra Leone’s Minister of Tourism

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