For the first time since the Jamaica Day celebrations began, I happen to get a taste of the real flavour. And boy what a treat!
It was just a short time, it my lunch time off from work, but it was enough to remind me of who we really are, who exactly we are as a people and where we are coming from.
You might think this should be a 'one -two', but in a time where the media (primarily cable television) dominates the social landscape and have such great impact and influence on our children, it is very important that we reinforce our lessons and values in our children.
It was at the celebrated Howard Cooke Primary school here in Montego Bay, Jamaica. May I say 'the top primary school in St. James'? OK, I won't say :-)
Anyway away with the patriotism to Howard Cooke, it was a great experience for me. The dances, the poetry and drama, and perhaps more eye-opening, the cultural displays at the booth!
There were tents depicting artifacts, pictures, food and information from all the major early nationalities (cultures) that came to Jamaica, and of course, there was a 'Jamaica' booth too!
Below are some of the pictures, but I even made a video of it!Look closely, the minister of education, the honorable Ronnie Thwaites is somewhere in there.
Jamiaca day has it's critics, but I am one who is completely for it. Yes there are emancipation, independence, and heroes day celebrations here, but non of them really puts our heritage in such sharp focus, right in front of the children.
It provides a special opportunity for the youth to learn about the things that makes us uniquely Jamaican and about some of the pioneers of Jamaica's social and political development.
And by the way, it is not a public holiday, it is a regular school day that in many cases, is the culmination of work done throughout the school year. Children are able to look at other cultures and not just note our uniqueness, but also get a deep sense of appreciation for our heritage and recognize the positive contributions of our ancestors.
Jamaica Day was proclaimed by the Governor-General in 2010. It is currently one of the flagship projects of the Culture in Education Programme. This year (2012) marked the 10th anniversary of he celebrations and represented a major contribution of the Ministry of Education to the yearlong celebrations of Jamaica’s golden jubilee independence anniversary, popularly referred to as Jamaica50.
This year (2012) it was celebrated on Friday Feb. 17 by Jamaicans across the island under the theme, ‘Celebrating Jamaica: Goals for Gold’.
I really hope you like the photos - and they mean something to you.
For institutions seeking information on Jamaica Day, they can contact the Culture Division at 967-4498 or 967-4975 for further information.