Accepted Paper:

How has Christianity become 'tradition', while the traditional dance has become 'culture' in northern Namibia?  
Sayumi Yamakawa

Paper short abstract:

How has Christianity become to be appreciated as 'tradition' but not as 'culture', whereas traditional dance is understood as 'culture' rather than 'tradition'? This paper considers shifting meanings of these terms particularly by examining the views and experiences of youth.

Paper long abstract:

The notion of 'tradition' and 'culture' are often used interchangeably among the Owambo of Namibia. This is because the term 'culture' in the local language is not defined as clear as 'tradition'. Meanwhile, a recent trend recognises the increasing consciousness about 'culture' among them, resulting from the state's effort to develop a national culture in the post-colonial/apartheid period. Such a national culture consists of local cultures represented by ethnically divided groups of people. Specific traditional elements, such as performances, foods and oral traditions, are selected and displayed both within and beyond a particular community and are officially acknowledged as 'Owambo culture'. In this context, how has Christianity become to be appreciated as 'tradition' but not as 'culture', whereas traditional dance is understood as 'culture' rather than 'tradition'? Aiming to contribute to the recent debate on culture-heritage-tradition, this paper considers shifting meanings of these terms particularly by examining the views and experiences of youth.

Panel W041
Global movement: dance, choreography, style