The Embassy of the Republic of The Gambia to the United States of America has on Saturday 23rd July 2022 celebrated the first-ever cultural show with the great kora maestro, Pa Bobo Jobarteh, at Blair High School in Silver Spring.
In his welcoming statement, the Charge d’Affaires ad interim at the Embassy of The Gambia in Washington DC, Mr. Mustapha Sosseh returned gratitude and appreciation to the Gambian community for the collaboration and turnout. He said the objective of the programme is to bring cultural understanding and encourage diversity which according to him is a critical component of human rights.
“It is about time that we embrace our culture, exhibit it and impart cultural understanding in our young ones so that we will not be victims of lost identities,” Mr. Sosseh posited.
Mr. Sosseh announced the formation of a cultural committee that would comprise executive members of Gambian associations across the US and Canada and would be tasked with the responsibility of promoting Gambian cultures. He said the Embassy will work with the Committee to bring about cultural promotion and ensure respect and acceptance of Gambian cultures.
This move, according to Mr. Sosseh, will create and inspire innovations and excellence in workplaces, communities and the world at large.
Speaking at the event on behalf of the Gambian – American Association, Mrs. Soffie Ceesay commended the Embassy for coming up with such a great initiative which would strengthen cultural understanding. The event, she indicated, should be an annual event organised by the Embassy, the Gambian community and partners.
She assured that the Gambian – American Association would continue to work with the Embassy in promoting the interest of The Gambia and Gambians across the United States of America.
The Information and Cultural Affairs Officer at the Embassy of The Gambia in Washington DC, Mr. Saikou Ceesay gave a background of the cultural show. Mr. Ceesay recounted that efforts to bring Pa Bobo and team to the United States of America started in February this year, with the staging of online cultural event involving universities in US. He said it was after the online cultural events with universities the Embassy thought it prudent to work with partners with a view to facilitating his trip to the US to showcase Gambian culture at festivals, Juneteenth celebrations and July 4th across the United States.
Mr. Ceesay indicated that at this modern age, the power of a country is not measured by its size or economy but the level with which it is able to integrate its culture into the international system. “We will continue to be more innovative and creative in making sure that result is produced for The Gambia,” he said.
A parallel event was held at the Embassy premises attended by 63 Young American Professionals and 7 representatives of cultural organisations. They were introduced to local Gambian dishes like domoda, benachin and local baobab and wonjo juice.