Emancipation Day – a celebration for all Guyanese
…as thousands transform National Park into a kaleidoscope of colours
The National Park was a sea of colors and patterns yesterday afternoon as thousands of Guyanese thronged the venue as race, color, class and creed were all set aside and folks gathered to celebrate 172 years since the abolition of slavery.
African prints, characteristic for their eye catching geometric designs and vivid colors were everywhere.
Eric Phillips, Head of the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) told those gathered that Emancipation was a holiday for all Guyanese, pointing out that had it not been for the freedom of the slaves, there would not have been the importation of the indentured labourers, all of whom helped to form the cultural diversity that is Guyana.
Among those in the large crowd were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds; Culture Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, senior functionaries of the opposition political parties such as Khemraj Ramjattan, Basil Williams and Peter Ramsaroop, among others.
There were also members of the Diplomatic Corps present, inclusive of the Venezuelan Ambassador to Guyana Dario Morandy, who was no doubt pleased with the performance of a dance troupe that travelled here from his country for the celebrations.
In a show of true diversity, there were also groups from Brazil and Suriname that were brought in for this year’s celebration.
Youth awareness emphasis was placed high on the agenda for this year’s celebration and as such there were performances by scores of young people who danced, sang and played numerous instruments.
This year’s African Country of choice for reflection was Ethiopia and the local village selected for special emphasis was Vergenoegen.
There were booths established to edify those that dared to venture as it relates to the history of that country and local village.
The National Park was a literal kaleidoscope and even the air was transformed as there was a plethora of mind boggling aromas inviting patrons to the many eating booths that were set up.
Lethem hosts Brazilians in Border Town Celebrations
Region Nine residents had a long weekend of celebrating as they not only marked Emancipation Day but strengthened ties between Guyana and Brazil.
Lethem was the scene of the Culture and Bordertown Extravaganza on Friday and Saturday nights, where the lives of the bordertown residents from both Guyana and Brazil intersected. The event was a collaborative effort on the part of the Lethem Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Administration Office and the Brazilian Consulate.
It was pointed out by members of those three bodies that ever since the Takatu Bridge was commissioned by President Jagdeo on the 14th of September last year, there has not been any significant social interaction between the residents of the two border towns on either side, namely Lethem and Bom Fin. As such the officials decided that they would launch the cultural extravaganza and make it an annual event.
Each year the event will be celebrated on alternate sides of the border.
Since it started in Guyana this year, it will be held in Bom Fin, Brazil next year. The event will also feature two nights of cultural celebrations with the opening night going to the host country and the second night to the visitors, to display their cultural works.