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Christmas in Vincy – Mixing tradition with contemporary

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Editor: What can be better than a Vincy Christmas? One can say that the author may not have had celebrated Christmas in other parts of the world and might not be justified in making a bold statement as this. However, the opportunity is being taken to show the uniqueness of the festival and why it must evolve to become even more a premier culture product to be shared by locals and visitors alike.{{more}}

The positive impact of this celebration has transcended religion, the initial holder and protector of the torch. It has progressed to an all-inclusive event, cutting across boundaries of time, ethnicity, political persuasion, age-group and socio-economic status: in such a manner that is almost impossible for visitors and locals to exclude from their routine cultural activities.

The first event that comes to your mind is the Nine Mornings activities. This unique activity allows for persons to enjoy local food, music and fun during the early mornings leading up to the morning of Christmas Day. In fact, Nine Mornings is like having nine Christmas celebrations! This event has been and continues to be celebrated at a community level across the state, each locality in a unique way. The event has now evolved into a national pastime; its mirrors the same involvement as that of carnival. This no doubt provides a positive impact to the extent that community appears to be more united, subsistent economic initiatives are pursued and opportunities are created where local talent and skills is showcase. These in and of themselves carry many other implications for national consciousness and pride, cultural appreciation and legacy and sustainable livelihoods development, just to mention a few.

Another cultural activity which comes to the mind is serenading at the community level. This may or may not be part of the Nine Morning’s activity. However, this author can recall the days when fore-parents went on “house to house” serenading and delivering Christmas messages through some eloquent and unique orations. This resulted in healthy competition among some of the elders back then. The following is a sample of such speech “… After rehearsing from a dictionary and learning a few “nonsense words” and assisted by a “petit” or two shots of white rum, these comical citizens will stand erect and deliver a speech that would have you rolling on the ground all night.

I believe that some words and phrases from similar speeches are infrequently heard today and such they should be documented for the benefit of the upcoming generation. In recent times, serenading at community level appears to have lost its appeal. Despite this, such activities are still highly appreciated national event where and whenever it occurs.

On Christmas day: a true Vincy experience is definitely one of sharing. It can be summed up as … “Cook all that yuh have, put all de drinks pon the table and open yuh house fuh all to come and enjoy!” This author calls it a National Open Day. Of course, there are church or religious activities taken place on Christmas day.

As the cultural activities associated with Christmas evolves: let’s all get involved and exploit this opportunity for greater national unity of the citizenry, socio-economic, cultural and personal advancement. It’s like a treasure trove of cascading possibilities.

There could be nothing better than a Vincy Christmas. Please explore and enjoy it!

Neri James

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