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Sunday,August 19,2018 18:25 PM

Obsession with ethnicity!

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd August 2006 03:00 AM

SIR — As Ugandan citizens, we should not be obsessed with ethnic purity. Last week Dr Apollo Epuwatt wrote an article entitled “Not yet uhuru for Tororo”
As a well-known physician, Epuwatt should serve all citizens in his private practice equally, rather than preoccupy himself with negati

SIR — As Ugandan citizens, we should not be obsessed with ethnic purity. Last week Dr Apollo Epuwatt wrote an article entitled “Not yet uhuru for Tororo”
As a well-known physician, Epuwatt should serve all citizens in his private practice equally, rather than preoccupy himself with negative stereotypes in the ethnically diverse district of Tororo.

Epuwat himself recognises that the ethnic group that he is demonising and stereotyping had been better educated and more numerous than his own, initially.

Is this something bad or an asset for the country? Since Tororo district is not a product of a homogeneous society, how then could its residents from different ethnic backgrounds have avoided
intermarriages or ‘assimilation’ just to preserve ethnic ‘purity’?

Without doubt, the grandparents who were responsible for intermarriages, did not nurse some of the ethnic prejudices that we encounter today among younger people, some of them professionals like Epuwatt.

In my view, the Iteso ethnic group members could have assumed Jopadhola names voluntarily in order to identify with their neighbours for better communication and social integration. Sometimes people assume double identities for certain benefits.

They are free to re-assert their identities within their clans or revert to their own languages without losing the advantages of the second language. Ethnic diversity in a district should be looked at positively as a strength and not a weakness.
The use or abuse of eating ‘edible’ rats to re-assert a group’s ethnic identity is unnecessarily retrogressive. Extreme ethnic nationalism, as advocated by Epuwatt, is an impediment to harmonious co-existence.

Jenn Jagire
Ontario, Canada

Obsession with ethnicity!

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