50 for 50
―Massive celebrations planned for Mash 2020
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, January 22, 2020
The Department of Social Cohesion says it has some $290Million budgeted for this year’s Mashramani activities as the country celebrates 50 years as a republic.
Creative Director for the Golden Jubilee observances, Russel Lancaster, told the media on Wednesday that there were 50 activities planned in honour of the 50th anniversary.
These include the traditional soca, chutney and steelpan competitions, as well as new additions such as the Youth Village, which will be held on Saturday, jazz celebrations, and a chutney dance competition.
Another new feature is the People’s Choice T20 Cricket Match, where Guyanese get to select which Caribbean country they want Guyana to face.
An interreligious 50 Days of Prayers for Guyana began on January 4 as part of the observances. According to Lancaster, it deals with several themes including family relations, removal of corruption, and togetherness.
Mashramani Coordinator, Andrew Tyndall stated that ‘Mash’ celebrations would be held in every region.
“We provided a calendar of events that allows every Guyanese regardless of your ethnicity, regardless of your religious persuasion, regardless of your geography, regardless of whichever demographic you’re in, to be able to participate. There must be an activity that every Guyanese can go to and enjoy,” Tyndall stated.
In his remarks Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton stated that the celebration was one of historical importance. According to the minister, many Guyanese are unaware of the difference between Guyana’s Independence status, attained on May 26, 1966, and the Republican status, which we attained on February 23, 1970.
“Becoming a Republic was, in fact, more meaningful as it signalled that we had severed ties completely with our colonisers and were ready to embark on the path of self-determination. Our Head of State was no longer the Queen, but a president, one of our own, who would thereafter be the highest figure of authority in the land,” Dr. Norton explained.
This year’s celebration is being observed under the theme: Guyana Together: Reflect, Celebrate, Transform.