Dr Bright Baligi, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Lambussie Constituency, has expressed worry over the near extinction of the Dagaaba culture due to civilization and education.
He said some people of the Dagaaba descent preferred being identified with the western culture through their dressing, names, and language rather than the Dagaaba culture.
Dr Baligi expressed the concern at Daffiama in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District during the celebration of the Smock Festival, on the theme: “Sustaining our Culture and Tradition; the Quota of Current Generation”.
The Paramount Chief of Daffiama, Naa Dikomwine Domalae, who is the President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, his divisional chiefs, the District Chief Executive of Lambussie, and political party executives among others were present at the event.
It was characterised by the cultural dance of some communities in the district, playing of the talking drum as well as the display of smock and smock products.
Dr Baligi noted that the language of a people was one of the cultural identifies that could distinguish them from other cultures but that due to education some youth had lost their language.
“I am always worried and ashamed that two Dagaaba children will meet at a place and cannot communicate in their own language. we have allowed our language to die, my people.
“It is only language that makes you stand out in the midst of people. It can bring people together in a strange land. We should not allow education or Christianity to steal our language”, he explained.
Dr Baligi also identified the names of the people as well as marriage, funeral, and burial rights as other cultural identities that distinguished a group from another, but said the current generation did not know the importance of names in their lives.
“Among the children sitting here, how many of them are called Bayuo, Dakura or Bayor? All these names are fading out. It is not good for us. We should go back to our cultural names that have meanings”, he added.
He expressed regret that due to civilization, some people search in books to get the most difficult and sophisticated names for their children, even before they were born.
Dr Baligi, therefore, urged the youth to hold their culture in high esteem in order not to lose it.
Professor Daniel Bagah, the Upper West Regional representative of the Council of State, said the cultural garment and dance of every people were very important in the life of every person.
According to him, the smock and the Dagaaba dance were some of the cultural values he cherished and had exhibited same both locally and internationally.
He, therefore, entreated the younger generation not to be ashamed of their culture as it formed part and parcel of human existence.
Madam Rita Yaaloonaa Bayor, the Founder and Executive Director of the Rita Humanitarian Aid Foundation (RHAF), the brain behind the Smock Festival, noted that the idea was to drum home the need for the protection of the rich culture of the Dagaaba people to save it from extinction.