Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 23 November 2015 08:47

Mashramani 2016 launch sees customary pomp, ceremony

brings back fond memories of traditions of yore

The Central Mashramani Planning Committee as well as the Mashramani Secretariat were on Friday commended for the splendid job they did with the launch of Mashramani 2016.
Held at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport compound on mid-town Main Street, it was obvious from the very outset that things were being done a bit differently this year, as it somehow succeeded in bringing back fond memories of traditions of yore.

The function began just after 17:00hrs, and was opened by legendary folklore storyteller, ‘’Ole Man Pappy’ who welcomed the gathering with a very entertaining tale of how ‘Br’er Anansi’ tricked ‘King Tiger’ and rode him like a donkey through the streets to win the heart of a pretty young damsel they were both courting.

A melding of cultures

Organisers ensured that the day’s programme featured a rich blend of ethnic cultures, and next to take the stage was the United Tassa Drummers from Number 2 Canal, West Bank Demerara, which soon had the gathering tapping their feet and swaying to the pulsating rhythm of the tassa drums.
The programme was further heightened when the Torch Masquerade Group from the mining town of Linden took the stage, and unleashed some impressive African drumming that saw some taking to their 20151123 1
Led by Jerome Cumberbatch, the group brought with it three energetic youngsters who thrilled the crowd with their antics as they somersaulted and executed ‘dancing stunts’, expertly snatching up cash many onlookers threw on the stage.
The ‘colour mix’ continued with a troupe of dancers from the Amerindian village of St Cuthbert’s Mission, who put on quite a show to remember. They were obviously trained, as they never missed a beat as they showcased one of their traditional Amerindian dances.
The Flame of Arts Dancers from the African Culture and Development Association (ACDA) were quite a treat as well, when they performed a dance in keeping with their ancestral roots.

Reigning Calypso Monarch and King of Kings calypso champion, Malcolm ‘King Perai’ Pereira was dubbed by many as the best act of the evening when he performed his song, ‘King Perai’, gyrating and prancing about, much to the delight of the sizeable audience.
Indira Etwaroo of the Nitrageet Dance Troupe was all grace and colour as she executed a dance which was a breath-taking fusion of the popular Kathak dance routine.

The Kuru-Kuru Training College was also a part of the festivities and they soon took to the stage showcasing their Popular ‘Matapee Dance’ which was well received by the gathering. And one has to agree that this was maybe one of ‘Young Bill Rogers’ best performances when he belted out the pulsating chutney single, ‘Ah Searching for a Good Larkie’. His theatrics soon had the audience giggling and clapping in resounding approval.
Then the venue exploded in brilliant colour as the National School of Dance and the National Dance Company appeared to do a dance piece dubbed, ‘Mash in our Golden Year’. It was an ethnic explosion and a kaleidoscope of colour as they quite expertly fused the various ethnic dance genres.

Minister’s address

Delivering the feature address, Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry said she was delighted to be a guest at such a prestigious event. She extended her gratitude to the Central Mashramani Management Committee for planning the event.
The minister affirmed that for Mashramani 2016, there will be a children’s competition at the regional level in January, and another at the national level from February 17 to 19.
The minister noted that for Mash 2016 also, there will be competitions countrywide in dance, poetry, costume display, art and essay writing. These are in addition to the many concerts for the elderly, the ‘Bright-up-Guyana’ competition for buildings and offices, and a number of photography contests.
She said since Guyana will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as a Republic, activities will be planned for the entire year, and that a lot of emphasis will be placed on honouring the elders.
After the minister’s presentation, the 2016 Mashramani logo was unveiled with the theme for 2016 being, “Celebrating Diversity, Unity and Sovereignty”.
The winning theme was submitted by Jeremiah Duncan of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara.


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