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Upper Nile state: Spending the weekend dancing


August 1, 2011 (MALAKAL) – Every Sunday, residents from various tribes in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state gather to perform traditional dances.

Dinka Bor dancers, Malakal, 31 July 2011 (ST)

At 5.00pm local time, in a town where clubs and football are not popular, many residents spend their weekends on a makeshift dance floor.

Excited dancers from Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk tribes sing and dance in various circles across a central field located a few meters from the main market in Malakal. In different styles, the tribal group beat drums, sing songs and make a great deal of noise and excitement.

Dinka dancers from Jieng Aguer, Malakal, 31 July 2011 (ST)

South Sudan, which was declared independent from the Sudan on 9 July 2011, is home to many diverse ethnic communities with rich cultures, but is also subject to inter-tribal conflict, often based upon cattle raiding.

The dances are an opportunity for people from different ethnic communities to meet and socialise.

Not everybody who comes to events dances, there are also many spectators. According to one of them, Duop Chuol, “We come here to meet our friends and see each other one people after a week-long work.”

Nuer dancers, Malakal, 31 July 2011 (ST)

One of the reasons traditional dances remain popular with the youth of South Sudan is the opportunity to meet a future spouse.

“Our cultures are vital and has to be preserved for grandchildren through practice,” said Elizabeth Nyanluk, a teenage attendee.

“Spending leisure time in bars and clubs interferes with lifestyles as one may end up a drunkard,” said Deng Maluak, a traditional dancer


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  • 2 August 2011 06:22, by belle loboi


    • 2 August 2011 10:22, by AdierCien

      In The Name Of The Trinity God Amen

      You know what, we’ve got the same culture technique of educating love, hope and courage and above all the best way to enjoy our leisure time. You see, the same thing we always do here in Wau (HeadQuarter of western BEG) full of many cultures and ethnic class of people is now in Upper Nile as well, good.

      In the process of trying to move away from the stone age styles, we’ve got multiple cultural diversity like educations not only in schools but also in villages through Churches. There is spontaneous changes taking place now in our society due to recent peace. Everywhere in the South there are Churches and these are symbols of education centres where adults performs their duties as parents to society. We need that spirit Upper Nile dwellers. Keep it up.

      May God Bless South Sudan.

      • 3 August 2011 20:19, by padiit gaga

        Bor are not allow to dance in upper Nile city because they were cuse when they stollen prophet Seeds that is why their teeth used to grow long than any other Dinka clans and also their teeth are always Yellow which was the color of prophet seed. What a hell they doing there why they do not go to their city otherwise i will let Lou Nuer come to chase them back to Jangle.

  • 2 August 2011 17:23, by Deng Dut

    This is what our people. Their minds need to be transformed from a career of firing AK47 to sports and culture where they can turn them into a way of earnings. Sure God bless our nation.

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