ACHOR ABIMAJE reports that the people of Quampan local government area of Plateau state, in a bid to preserve their custom and local dialect from going into extinction, organised a food carnival in Jos to showcase their customs and traditions.
For a long time to come, the food carnival organised by Doemak Youth Development Association (DYDA) in Jos, Plateau state will remain evergreen in the minds of the residents and those that traveled from neighbouring communities to Jos to witness the event.
The organisers of the event who are from Quampan local government council of the state did so to show case their culture, tradition and values to the younger generation and the outside world.
Speaking at the event, the chairman of Doemak Youth Development Association Jos chapter, Mr Amos Dakwaan said the organisation of the event became necessary to keep alive and continually promote their cultural values by show casing their traditional dishes.
He added that it is also an occasion to inculcate in the younger generation their cultural norms and customs, stressing that urbanisation and modernisation has eroded most of their cultural values, thereby making it difficult for some of those born in Jos to identify their traditional foods let alone speak their dialect.
According to him, in addition to the sustainability of their cultural values this kind of event fosters unity and enhances mutual understanding among members.
“Infact it is the food carnival events that have been the driving force in uniting us here in Jos as Doemak youths and that has enabled us constitute a formidable national youth body. We shall continue to put in our modest efforts to sustain the tempo. We will work in collaboration with the national body to enhance the development of Doemak nation, Pan land and by extension Plateau state.”
Dakwaan called on spirited individuals, government at all levels, institutions, agencies and ministry of Youth, Tourism and Culture, to key into the annual event for its sustainability of the Pan cultural norms and Plateau state at large.
He stressed that government at all levels should create an enabling environment through good governance for the youths to be gainfully employed or become job creators in the state.
The chairman also called on parents to collaborate with them to encourage their children who have not registered with them to immediately do so, adding that failure to register will attract sanction on anybody who refuses to identify with his roots.
Speaking in the same vein, the state commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Victor Lapang said as young people the organisers of the carnival must build on the efforts of their founding fathers who had contributed their quota positively rather than criticising them.
He expressed delight that the initiatives came from the youths because everything centered on them, adding that it is the youth that are used for electoral violence, it is they that are used in causing insecurity, noting that the western lifestyle is earnestly embraced by the youths.
“If you are looking at the challenges confronting the Pan nation, you cannot attribute or tie them completely to the older generation. Yes, globalisation is good, but it becomes bad when we forget about our customs and traditional values.
“The idea of promoting culture through traditional foods, carnival which the children of this generation are deprived of due to modernisation is very important. We can only add to what we have but not abandoning our own food, custom and good traditional values as a people.”
The 2018 annual food carnival featured a panel of discussants on the topic: “Pan Nation, Where Did We Get It Wrong?Culturally, Politically and Security Wise-The Way Forward.”
The discussants are Hon. Maanret Dagogot, a Student of History and International Studies University of Jos, Mr. Samuel Dawam a lecturer with the Plateau State University Bokkos and Mr. Fidelis Dangyil, a lecturer with the Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin-Ladi, respectively.
All the panelists advocated the strengthening of the traditional and religious institutions which the Pan people are known for.
They noted that the Western religion and lifestyle had caused a lot of havoc to the custom and traditional values of their people as witnessed by most African communities consider as the effects of post colonialism today.
“Divisions keep striving by the day, we no longer correct one another because he is my brother or he is from our community, which was not the case when we did not have contact with the Western world (British). The social order today ends up breeding different types of crime leading to insecurity in our communities. Hard work is no longer trending.
“We should revive our cultural and traditional institutions, strengthen them and then we will see things work for us. I wish to see a day when kum-gwarr will come out and vibrate, when jep-Mau or jep-kogol will come out performing the traditional ritual’s of our people, when Poet Pan will be done and elders will go into that shrine and rain will fall.
“Abandoning these, became part of the problem and most of the crisis we are facing today is because of religion be it Christianity or Islam. So we must hold on to the custom and traditional value and a political structure that is unique to our own system,” they submitted.
Among the traditional delicacies showcased at the event were, “Nawe’e, Lua-koo, Goe lem chip, Oeksua, Baala, Muloem, Lua-Lade, Laganji, Lua-ass, Muos-marr, Kom, Guagal Amwap-ass, Lua-koo among others.