Nigerian-Igbo New Yam Festival
The Igbo Cultural Association of Saskatchewan Inc. (ICAS) organized the Nigerian-Igbo New Yam Festival that was featured as the theme of the 2013 Igbo Cultural Day. This event was an opportunity to showcase an aspect of Igbo food culture and highlighted the yam, a staple food crop in Nigeria as in most other West African countries. The farming and harvesting of the yam crop has special significance in the Igbo culture where it is revered as the “King of Crops”. The special attraction of this event was the ceremonial presentation of the new yam where all the older adults in the audience, regardless of origin, were asked to participate in the eating of the new yam ceremony.
The event was open to the public and attracted over 300 attendees from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. The Abigbo Cultural Music and Dance (ACMDE), including the Igbo Men’s Abigbo Cultural Dancers (developed with financial assistance from MCoS) made their debut at the event. Other cultural performances included the Igbo Language and Cultural School students who performed the Egwu Onwa (Moonlight Play), the young women of ICAS cultural performers and a special cultural dance group from their sister organization in Winnipeg performed Egwu Umu Ada ICAS.
“This event provided an opportunity for people from different cultures to foster mutual understanding of the Igbo culture and each other’s cultures. This understanding helps to improve mutual respect and a sense of living together and eliminating racism,” said ICAS President, Eugene Ogu. “I could not have imagined a better way to promote multiculturalism in Saskatchewan.”