By ETOP EKANEM
It was colour, glamour and tradition laced with modernity when the Oron Union, Lagos branch celebrated her 12th cultural day and grand reception of Oro living icons, with the theme: “Oro Living Icons,” in Lagos.
The clamourus display of various cultural troupes is a testimony and indeed a relic of a nation with rich culture. The festival was a beehive of activities and the venue was the more enlivened by cultural displays such as masquerades, maiden dance, folklore, Oron traditional cuisine, to traditional wrestling, Ekpe masquerades, Akata among host of others.
In her address of welcome President, Oron Union, Lagos, Mrs Felicia Essang-Oludare said this year’s cultural day was very unique and significant at it marked 12 years since the first Oron cultural day was premiered in Lagos.
According to her, the cultural event “is to protect and preserve Oro Nation cultural heritage. Today we have another opportunity to watch different cultural display, but as we watch them, let us always remember that there is no place like home. So, always strive to preserve your culture, it is your identity.”
Also speaking, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs who was also chairman of the occasion, Chief Effiong Abia said culture was “an embodiment of the people’s value, the people’s means of existence and the people’s future. We are not just celebrating the past, the present but the the future. So, event of this nature has to do with the existence of the people.”
On the effect of the culture on the youths, Abia said “if you don’t take care of the youths and are allowed to lose value of their culture, then there will be problem. The essence is that the young people should not forget their root in spite of the high sounding urban life.”
The event was not only about celebrating culture.
The Union also used the occasion to honour its sons and daughters who have excelled in one way or the other.
According to the union president, “today is not just for cultural celebration and dance, we are using this opportunity to celebrate our sons and daughters who have excelled in one way or the other. One of the primary aims of Oron Union at inception was to ensure that her people get the highest level of education to be able to attain leadership roles in our community as well as in the country’s political and economic arena.”
Those honoured included Sir Etim Inyang, former Inspector General of Police; Prof. Okon Uya; Prof Akon Esu; Sir Edet Amana; Bishop Effiong Ekuwem, Prof Eskor Toyo among other oron living icons.