23 youths graduate from culture camp 2023

Twenty-three youths from the Grove-Diamond area, East Bank Demerara and one from Georgetown, graduated from the Youth Culture Camp, which was hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Friday morning.

The camp, which took place at the Diamond Secondary School, saw adolescents engaged in art, music, culture, dance, and history for three weeks.

Participants were also taken on tours to various national landmarks to learn about their significance.

Some of them voiced their opinions about the programme, expressing their gratitude and noting their favourite aspects.

Piya Parasram receiving her certificate of completion from Minister Kwame McCoy

One of the participants, Piya Parasram expressed, “The experience for this programme for me is very new. It’s enlightening, it’s refreshing, and to me it’s very educational, because certain things that I didn’t know about, I got the chance to learn, including dance, music, cultural heritage, and art.”

These, she added entailed folk, classical and Indian dances, learning to play Indian and African drums, and various techniques in art and craft.

“My favourite subject out of all of this is dancing, and I hope that I’ll get to come and [participate in] the next youth camp,” she said.

She described the camp as ‘very educational’, and encouraged other young people to come on board.

Another participant, Leroy Evans said while he was exposed to similar cultural activities, drumming was his favourite.

Leroy Evans

“I really took a liking to it, and I noticed that I have a natural talent for it, so I am going to pursue it in the future,” the young man told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, remarked on the brilliant cultural display showcased by the graduating students.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy

He said the mixture and appreciation of culture displayed by the students is exactly what the government aims to achieve for the entire country.

“That image with those four persons with the drums is a fascinating, award-winning image. Not only because they had before them the drums on display, but primarily because it looked like an image that truly represents Guyana… That mixture is what we strive for every single day as a government,” he said.

(from left) Leroy Evans, Piya Parasram, Ceana Henry, and Trishna Ajodha playing the djembe (African drums) and tassa (Indian drums)

The minister also commended the culture ministry for educating persons on their cultures, as well as the history of the country.

“Whether we are Afro-Guyanese, Amerindian, Portuguese, Indo-Guyanese or any of the other races—mixed and otherwise—all of the cultures of Guyana belong to all of us. We all have to embrace the culture. It is what makes us unique. It is what makes us that special group of people that the world can look on and identify as a diverse group of people in one country,” Minister McCoy expressed.

Further, he urged the youths not to be misled by those who seek to sow seeds of division among Guyanese due to cultural differences, but to continue to utilise their knowledge and share in one each other’s cultures towards the goal of achieving a unified Guyana.