Just recently, Russia launched a celebration of Africa’s cultural heritage in Moscow entitled “Afrofest 2014”. The celebration displays traditional dances, games and food as well as contemporary films and entertainment from 40 countries across the continent. “Russians don’t know what Africa is.” The House of Africa Organization’s President, Serge Phocas Odunlami, said.
Odunlami stated that he believes the celebrations would help to create a bridge between African and Russian cultures where violence against ethnic minorities are prevalent, although he also noted that the Russian Government had taken a multitude of measures which had helped to drastically decrease these racially-motivated attacks. “Russians need to know what is not said about Africa.” Said the Ambassador of Rwands, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya. The festival hopes to change the typical African stereotype as well as help drive African students into Russian Universities and Colleges.
Image credit goes to Travel.mos.ru
The festival, held in the Bauman Garden on the weekend, allows visitors to try their hand, or foot, at traditional Angolan dances such as Kudaro, a high-energy dance, and Kizomba, a slower and more passionate dance. These are complimented by the Beninese dance troupe Cac Oshala. The festival also offers visitors the chance to play many types of traditional games, such as the ancient game of Awale which sees players attempt to capture each other’s seeds on a board. Contemporary African culture is also viewable with a fashion show featuring creations from some of Africa’s top designers and documentaries about the continent are being shown on the big screen.
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