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Nurturing the Vincentian heritage


Tue Mar 18, 2013

While we await the promised expansion of the official March 14th National Heroes Day ceremony, we welcome the growing enthusiasm with which Vincentians are embracing elements of our cultural heritage put on display on and around the public holiday, making it a virtual heroes and heritage observance.{{more}}

Fancy and Greiggs, with their strong Garifuna heritage, are at the forefront of the cultural activities, but other communities, organisations, businesses and schools have also put on musical, culinary, literary, occupational, and other cultural displays.

It is a welcomed development, because so often we bemoan the loss of cultural identity, particularly among the young, to the many competing influences. In the recent past, cultural activists pointed to the lure of American television and music. More recently, it is the reality that the more participatory communication technology has increasingly made the world into the proverbial ‘global village,’ where all can influence, but be influenced; be consumers, but also contribute to global consumption.

Nurturing the various cultural expressions helps to build and strengthen a connection to a proud and obviously colourful past. But, as we have noted, there is also the chance to share the Vincentian story, following in the footsteps of other not so well- known people and cultures the world over.

The embracing and the sharing can grow further into expanded economic opportunities, including the rapidly growing heritage tourism business. Trade agreements between the Caribbean and partners such as the European Union provide for export of cultural products, in recognition of the growing global apetite for new types of cultural experiences, especially the unique and intriguing.

We must continue to support and encourage the promotion of the Vincentian story. Public enthusiasm must be nurtured, and community and group organisers provided with tangible assistance, to build on this proud heritage.