After an interruption that lasted two years due to the pandemic, Carnival returned to the streets of Bissau last Saturday bringing together all ethnic groups in a show of colour and unity.
“The Guinea Bissau carnival is authentic and original, because it shows the customs of each ethnic group in the country and its cultural diversity: its dynamics, its way of singing, dressing and dancing. It is truly an authentic and original carnival!”, said Rui Manuel Da Costa, co-organiser of the Carnival.
For many, Carnival represents an opportunity to celebrate the country’s diverse cultural heritage.
This year, neighbouring Senegal was the guest of honour.
“Carnival means a lot to me, because it allows me to feel truly Guinean.
It is with the carnival that we can represent our culture and our way of life. I would like every Guinean to be able to show and live his or her culture, because every day our cultural heritage is disappearing”, said Carnival participant Alfredo Sylvestre Nanque.
Another Carnival participant, Daniela Semedo Djoco, “the elders are trying to save our cultural heritage, but the youth don’t want to learn.
The government must set up a mechanism to make young people aware of Guinean culture, because our culture is very beautiful”.
The event was opened by the minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Augusto Gomes, who stressed the close ties shared with neighbouring Senegal.