Preserving cultural heritage is essential for development – AFC
Each year Amerindian Heritage Month in Guyana highlights the different aspects of Amerindian culture and encourages Amerindians across Guyana to celebrate their cultural heritage, according to Alliance For Change (AFC) member Valerie Garrido-Lowe.
Amerindian Heritage Month 2012 is being held under the theme: “Embracing our identity, Celebrating our culture.”
This year’s heritage village is Micobie, which will host celebrations on September 8. The village is located in Region Eight above the Lower Potaro River.
In recognition of September being designated Amerindian Heritage Month, Garrido-Lowe said in a fast-paced, modern world where industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups, have contributed to the loss of tradition, many countries around the world are now engaged in attempts to preserve their traditions.
“As a nation of six races, celebrating and showcasing the diversity of our cultural heritage, beliefs and traditions, will not only serve to preserve them, but will educate all across the spectrum of this country of the beauty, creativity, strength and resilience, and the indomitable spirits of our foreparents,” she noted.
The AFC parliamentarian said understanding follows naturally after education; hence, “we can begin to genuinely appreciate our cultural differences and to respect each other as persons of worth. This will go a long way towards narrowing and eventually eliminating any perceived racial divide.”
She explained that as a National event within the calendar year it attracts a wide cross-section of Guyanese eager to know more about the Indigenous way of life. The indigenous craft continues to fascinate all and it is a feather in their cap that nibbi furniture is sold as a high-end product on the market both locally and internationally.
However, Garrido-Lowe said other than creative expressions and food being showcased, “the Indigenous brothers and sisters should make a valiant effort to preserve and embrace their languages. Language is the key ingredient humans require to build bridges of understanding between cultures and communities. The elders who are versed in the various languages should be sought out to teach the rest of the community or, better yet, the languages should be taught in schools countrywide”.