May 2013 14

Photo Blog – A Community Celebration of Dancing, Sports, and Drama in Apyetta

Posted in Featured, News

By Opio Francis

When we arrived at Apyeta parish, we were met by hundreds of community members calling “Wapwoyo bino,” meaning ‘thanks for coming.’ The groups of Bwola Rac (meaning ‘Lying is Bad’) and Timo Kica Ber (meaning ‘Forgiveness is Good’) were hosting a community event, and were excited to receive their guests.

We had barely left the vehicle before GRG’s Program Director was quickly taken through a tease of how to dance “otole” – a traditional war dance in Acholi culture.

Christopher, the Program Director, being teased by some of the community dancers

The event started with an introductory speech from the MC – the headmaster of the local primary school. He explained that the groups hoped that the community event would help respond to problems of trauma, as well as promoting reconciliation and cultural preservation. As a school teacher, he was particularly keen that the children could uphold the Acholi cultural identity having been born in displacement camps during the war. This was the basis for these two groups planning this event. Back in July last year, GRG supported these groups to identify their own solutions to community problems. They identified a community event involving music and dance as an important activity. This photo blog will take you through the day.

First on the agenda though: soccer (football). The groups organised a soccer tournament with youths from a neighboring community.

Youths of Apyetta engage in a soccer match

After the youths, Bwola Rac brought to the floor the “otole” dance which is a war dance in the Acholi culture.

Members of Bwola Rac perform the otole dance

Then Timo Kica Ber rocked the floor with the “laraka raka” dance, which is a courtship dance in Acholi culture.

The members of Timo kica ber perform the larak raka dance

The fun was not limited to the groups though! The pupils of Apyetta primary were not left out they too stormed the dance floor with “ajere” dance to ensure that the acholi culture is preserved.







It was a day which not only was fun for all the community, but the process of organising the event helped to bring together the community. The traditional leader who was the guest of honor explained,  “I thank GRG for supporting the community of apyetta as it is helping in bringing us together… I hope that this kind of event is organized every month it would help them preserve the  culture of acholi.”

The guest of honor participates in the ‘otole’ dance


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