There is no one single culture that can predominantly describe Kenya. Nevertheless, its multilingual state puts it on the map with coherent description. According to ethnologies, Kenya has over 50 different languages spoken. However, English and Kiswahili are the official languages.
Ethnically, Kenya is a heterogeneous society, with its large population of the Bantu tribe’s ancestry. These include the kikuyu, Luhya and Kamba. Nilotic tribes include the Luo, Kalenjin, the Maasai and the Kalenjin, the Maasai and Turkana. Kenya’s population is almost made up of a small percentage of non-African descent such as Indians, Arabs and Europeans.
Majority of the population adhere to religious beliefs as well as traditional heritage. Religious wise, roughly half of the population are Christians while the rest incorporate the Muslims, Hindu as well as sheikh as minorities.
Culturally, majority of the country’s population believe in working together for mutual advancement. Kenyans believe in coming together for the greater good. This is boldly lived and through the famous slogan. The Harambee slogan, a concept which calls for mutual effort, responsibility and assistance for the community self-reliance, the slogan harambee was most popular during the reign of the former and second president of the country, Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, though he had been in full swing since Kenya’s early political stages as the founding father and Kenya’s Second president. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta would use it to foster unity and bring oneness in the citizenry.
The harambee slogan has since been used to call for togetherness in handling and addressing an issue of significance in the Kenyan society. Union throughout the Kenyan cultures is celebrated and equated to blessings. Family in the country came as such. Families in Kenya are laying the block for integration which is significant in bringing peace, love and unity as put forward in the country’s national anthem. Embracing one another in the country is equivalent ot lending a helping hand to one another so we can progress together as one. Our culture of embracing and being tolerant with each other is richly interwoven to our spirits as in the national anthem, which is our national prayer
As Kenyans are deeply rooted not only by our heritage but as well as our religious heritage if someone is a Christian like you and I, we acknowledge of how our cultures play a crucial role even in upholding our religious beliefs. Our cultures are created on foundation of love for one another all these expected to be richly evident.
Traditionally the dead were given their last respects as they move to their new resting place. No matter their final destination, respect for the dead and even our ancestors is highly appreciated, especially so in the Christian life. Even in the bible Jesus was buried according to the Jewish traditions. As a Christian embracing and building bridges for peace love and unity is elemental in bridging the gap between both our traditions and Christian calling and how they move together without conflict for fulfillment of the ultimate calling. Our cultures represent the advancing of life through different developmental and growth stages. As you go along you learn and take in new insights relevant to pursuing a fulfilling life. Not long ago, cultural and tribal divisions had been a major hindrance as to how our diverse cultural heritage can thrive together amicably. In our present technological age, population has greatly integrated and is well accustomed to each other. Uniquely distinct cultural beliefs and practices, technological advancement has also generated a time lapse and hence a large population letting go of retrogressive cultural practices to embrace a more informed and emancipated way of life. This open ended kind of life has a large interaction of opinions, perspectives as well as beliefs necessary to grasp the entire building bridges concept. It’s more like do not hold back, open up. Embracing one another, learn and understand an alien concept. Our different cultures exhibit throwbacks that require our deliberate action to understand in order to successfully incorporate them.in being tolerant with our diversity; we are richly aligned with our higher calling. Our Christian lives enable us to ace how we live and make contact with ourselves and immediate elements of our current environment in respect to culture. As Christians, embracing diverse cultures should be in line with our higher calling.
By Edwin Mbuto