Igbos in Holland commended for establishing Igbo School, promoting Igbo Language and culture

Posted by Pamela Eboh | 9 September 2014 | 8,373 times

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Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) leader in Anambra State, Chief Godwin Ezeemo, has commended Igbos in Holland for their efforts in promoting Igbo Language and culture despite living far away from home. He made the commendation at the recent World Igbo Day in Amsterdam, during which he was one of the Igbo sons and daughters from across the world honoured for supporting the Igbo cause. The event doubled as the Iwa ji (New Yam Festival) of Igbos in the Netherlands.

“You Igbos in Amsterdam have made me more proud to be an Igbo man by taking the initiative to have Igbo school in a foreign land. It shows truly that the blood of our ancestors flows in you all,” Ezeemo said in his speech at the occasion.

“Igbos wherever they reside always stand out as entrepreneurs of repute and never rely on people’s mercy or help. That is the trait the Igbos are known with and they bring it to bear whether at home or in Diaspora,” he added.

The politician cum newspaper publisher further commended the group for taking a bold step to ensure that Igbo Language does not become extinct in 2025 as predicted by UNESCO.

He expressed joy over their establishment of an Igbo school in a foreign land, promising to contribute his quota to ensure that Igbo children born in foreign lands take pride in speaking their native language fluently.

According to Eneemo, “This fight to salvage our custom, culture, tradition and dialect is a must-win fight. We have a very rich heritage and it must be preserved by us and handed over to our children for generations unborn.

“It is a heartbreaking feeling that our fathers handed a culture, tradition and custom to us and we are unable to maintain the tempo; rather, it is fast quenching in our hands.

“I grew up with the moonlight tales and plays, folktales, masquerade displays at the village squares, new yam festivals,  kinsmen exchanging visit and meetings, to mention but a few. These features of the Igbo man are fast eroding.

“Let us emulate our brothers in Yoruba and Hausa land who are ever so proud of their mother tongues even when in the white man’s land. Let us bring back that brotherhood.”

In his speech at the occasion, the President of Igbo Union in Amsterdam, Mr. Anthony Okafor, stressed that the habit of parents and guardians discarding their mother tongue to embrace foreign languages and culture need to be addressed.

Okafor said: “We have seen our mistake in discarding our tradition totally for the white man’s culture while the white men hold fast to theirs.

“Civilisation does not mean abandonment of one’s lineage; rather, it is an improvement, so we intend to correct that mistake for the betterment of our children’s future.

“We hope that this annual New Yam Festival and ceremony of celebrating success of Igbo citizens would create a mark in the lives of our children so as to keep the light aglow when we are gone.”

Apart from Chief Godwin Ezeemo, others honoured at the occasion included Engr. Emeka Eze, High Chief Dr. Obiora Okonkwo and HRH Igwe Charles Ezeudogu, the Obi II of Ichida.

The new yam cutting (iwaji) was performed by the special guest of honour, HRH Dr. Christian Nwachukwu, Eze Ndigbo Lagos.

Among other dignitaries that graced the event were an official of the Nigerian Embassy in the Netherlands, Mrs. Nini Okey Uche, and Chairlady, Igbo Women Forum, United Kingdom, Mrs. Megan Adaobi Clement.

•Photo shows Ezeemo receiving award during the 2014 World Igbo Day in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Source: News Express

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