Oct 16, 2010 News
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport yesterday launched Mashramani 2011, promising several innovations to make the Republic anniversary festival one that is unique and different.
The Mash theme chosen for next year’s festival is: Showcasing our culture; sustaining our pride. The winning theme was submitted by Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara resident, Marcia Washington, who received a cash reward of $50,000 for her effort.
A lukewarm parade of young people in costume, led by the National Steel Orchestra, attempted to give a glimpse of what next year’s carnival-like celebrations would be like, but they managed to create no hype whatsoever.
Minister of Culture, Dr Frank Anthony, called for all to be involved in helping to create the atmosphere for Mashramani, which culminates with a national costume and float parade in the streets of the capital Georgetown on February 23.
In the run up to the big day, a number of initiatives have been planned to give hype to the event. Taking a hint from the Samba schools of neighbouring Brazil, the National School of Dance will hold street dance sessions to get as many as possible involved in creating the party mood for Mashramani.
To keep the cultures alive, Dr Anthony announced that a special night will be set aside to portray elements of the cultures slaves and immigrant workers brought with them from the different continents.
Not to lose the significance of the political and constitutional development that was the attainment of the Republican status, a Mashramani lecture series will be launched, while a book festival will help to put Guyanese in touch with Guyanese authors. In addition, there are plans for a Night of Guyanese Poetry, with special emphasis on Creolese poems to create a distinct Guyanese flavour.
Apart from the regular children’s costume and float parade, children would be further engaged through essay and art competitions on Mashramani.
Entertainment promoters who are keen on promoting events around Mashramni and can have these accredited by the National Mashramani committee would be eligible for tax concessions, Anthony announced.
The regular calypso and chutney competitions will continue this year and for the first time, the finalists of both the competitions would be compiled on CD. The HIV song competition, which has been running for three years, would be changed to include songs about other health problems. Dr Anthony said this form of “edutaintment” would help to spread important messages.
Among the private sector bodies already on board are Banks DIH Limited, which is staying with the calypso competition, and Republic Bank, which has been making a particular effort to promote steelpan music and encourage this in schools.
Minister Anthony also called on as many as possible to get involved in the illuminated and decorated buildings competition, even suggesting that some spruce up their houses for the Republic celebrations.
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