August 6, 2012 (BOR) – Traditional South Sudanese dancers, the Duk Flower Grils of Bor, the Jonglei state capital, have called upon the regional and nation government and chiefs to include traditional cultural awareness in their leadership programmes.
- Duk Flower Dancing Girls, Bor, Jonglei state, August 2012 (ST)
The Duk Flower Girls leader, Ayen Manyok Page, said that their group, which is made up of 25 members ranging in age from 10 too 19 years of age, was established during the Sudanese civil was in 2003 in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. Some of them then returned to their homeland with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. One faction left for Uganda while two settled in South Sudan; one in Juba and another in Bor.
Page said the troupe was established “to make people aware of South Sudan’s rich culture” and composed songs which “discourage people from drinking alcohol or leading a Western life,” as well the use of skin bleaching products.
For many women in South Sudan, light coloured skin is associated with beauty, as is the case for many in Sudan. The use of these products has been shown to have detrimental health effects.
Page explained that they are calling for the country’s traditional and governmental leadership to protect South Sudanese culture in the face of foreign influence.
“We are preaching against negative influences that affect tradition within our country” said Page.