Last week the Kabul Cultural Container convened its cultural event with the topic “Linking Generations” with the aim to strengthen cultural dialogue and understanding between generations. The team presented a variety of artistic and cultural activities that included a discussion, a theatre piece, reciting a story of Shahnama, the Book of Kings, and ending with music.
The discussion was attended by professors who talked about different aspects, causes, consequences and remedies of generational gaps and misunderstandings. They believed that several factors, including years of life in exile, rural-urban migrations and displacements, and an increasingly dependent life on technology creates a distance between the younger and the older generation. If not managed by mutual understanding and dialogue, it can evolve to become a conflict between the generations.
Professor Seddiq Zaliq explained: “One effective way to overcome tensions and conflicts is to persuade the other side with reason and respect and by acting responsibly; both sides should understand the changes, which occur over time. Technology is a big part of the changes that have entered our today life.”
Professor Sayed Rohullah Rezvani said that elders should know that not all, that looks strange is something dangerous and not all, which is developing newly is a result of cultural invasion. “Elders should develop the skill to talk to the young people in their family and the young people should have the capacity to listen and to understand them.”
Afghanistan has had a very strong tradition of reading epic stories in a gathering. It not only has been a very constructive way of entertainment but also an effective means of dialogue among the family members and small communities. This tradition is slowly fading away from the daily life of Afghans. To give people a memory of their recent past, the container recited Shahnamakhani (reciting the Book of Kings with a special tone of voice) as part of the event to further emphasize on the positive side of Afghan culture and to remind people of their valuable traditions.
The music pieces which were sang by teenage singers were a memorable ending to an event that was started by discussion of older professors and continued by the active participation of young people by raising questions and adding more insights.
A collection of people’s opinions on the generational gap and the dialogue between the generations was distributed to the participants. This book named “Closing the gap between the generations through intergenerational dialogue” was designed and printed as a picture book that contained the ideas of some of those, who had come to the container and had joined several cultural dialogues during the term of the project.