Aug 02

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The 38th Festival of Peace in Saintes


Kuza African Sanaa traditional dance group based in Nairobi represented Kenya in the 38th Peace Festival in Saintes, France. The Peace festival is the main event of the Association Cultures du Monde dans l’Arc Atlantic (World Cultures in the Atlantic Arc Association) which was founded in 1969 by Mr Michel FORGEAU. The objective of the festival is to bring together the youth from different cultures, countries, backgrounds, religions and political affiliations around the theme of traditional dance performances, to promote peace.

Mr Edwin Maloba (Rt), Chargé d’Affaires of the Kenya Embassy in Paris poses for a photo with Mr Gerald Onduso Oguna, Chairman of Kuza African Sanaa, and Mrs Wanja Karuri-Roguez (Kenya Embassy, Paris)

Over the past 38 years the festival has brought together more than 20,000 dancers representing 430 troupes from all over the world. The organisers have representatives in 80 countries. This was the first time that Kenya was selected to participate in the festival and happened to be the only African country. This year the festival hosted more than 400 youth members from 14 dance troupes. An opening ceremony was held on the 8th of July and for two weeks the dance troupes showed their artistic, music and dance talents as well as traditional costumes in spectacles that were organized in Saintes and its environs.

The dancers have also had the opportunity to discover the rich culture of the Poitou-Charentes region in Western France, where Saintes is located. It is in this region that Cognac originated and the world’s cognac comes from a designated area within it. In addition the region also boasts the accidental discovery of Pineau de Charentes a fortified sweet aperitif made by adding Cognac to unfermented grape. Like cognac, Pineau de Charentes also enjoys Protected Designation of Origin. Dancers and spectators alike had a formidable experience of two spectacles organized in the grounds of old castles where wine, pineau de charentes and cognac are produced.

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