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Cultural exchange programme takes roots

A five member group of Swedish poets, journalist and a university lecturer are touring some parts of the country as part of Botswana and Sweden cultural exchange programme.

The cultural exchange was organised by The Karaven Magazine in Sweden in collaboration with Petlo Literary Arts Trust. The group which arrived in Botswana on December 15, will go back on December 22, and has so far been to Molepolole main kgotla.

The chairperson of Petlo Literary Arts Trust, Barolong Seboni said cultural exchange allows people to interact, form friendships and share information on their cultures. Seboni, who is a lecturer at the University of Botswana, expressed gratitude towards the group for having come to Botswana to learn the Setswana culture.

He described culture as a way of life of a group of people‘s behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.

The chairperson said The Karaven Magazine features poetry, literature and everything that deals with culture in Sweden and Africa. The magazine, he said approached Petlo asking on how they could work together with Botswana poets and a tour of the country was suggested.

The group would be taken around to see the traditional kgotla set up of Bangwaketse in Kanye as well as Dithubaruba and Mmakgodumo Dam. He explained that Petlo Literary Arts Trust was established in 2008 to promote Botswana literature and creative writing.

Seboni appealed to the private sector to partner with the organisation to ensure that they realise their dream of building an International Retreat for Writers along the Okavango River as they have already acquired a plot.

Such facilities, he said, are found in the Unites States of America, Europe and South Africa. He said they also have plans to build a writer’s library in Gaborone. “Petlo in collaboration with the private sector has published three books, Sechele the First, Lemon Tea and Setswana Riddles translated in English and they can be found at Books Botswana and other exclusive Book Centers in Gaborone,” Mr Seboni said.

Giving welcome remarks, deputy paramount chief of Bakwena, Norman Bakwena raised concern that there was moral decay amongst the youth of Botswana and urged them to pull themselves together. “Having your own culture helps people to know who they are and where they come from. As dikgosi we are grateful to be involved in events such as this, which promote culture,” said Kgosi Bakwena.

In an interview with one of the Swedish poets, Daniel Boyacioglu said he finds Batswana to be so loving and welcoming. After watching a traditional dance group performing Phathisi, he said, it shows that Batswana are still holding tight to their culture. 

For his part, Kgosi Batshwanetse Mosarwa of Kgosing ward urged the youth to be disciplined so that they could achieve their objectives in life and also to portray a good image to the Swedish delegation. The group includes two poets, Mauree Silkeberg and Boyacioglu, a lecturer at Uppsa University, Eric Salk and The Karaven Magazine journalist, Birgippa Wallin. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Kenanao Mmopi

Location : MOLEPOLOLE

Event : Cultural Exchange

Date : Dec 18 Wed,2013

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