African, Guyanese culture displayed as President joins Freedom Day celebration

Georgetown, GINA, August 1, 2013

President Donald Ramotar witnessed a cultural presentation with a touch of humour as a young girl, Beyonce and her pet goat Sasha, both dressed in African attire appeared in a parade during the annual emancipation day celebration in the National Park.

Director of the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) Dr. Eric Phillips escorting President Donald Ramotar in the National Park.

 

The African Cultural and Development Organisation (ACDA) organised event today, was the usual scene of camaraderie, enlightenment and entertainment as Guyana commemorated the 175th anniversary of the abolition of slavery and emancipation of enslaved Africans.

Representatives of the Surinamese cultural group greets President Donald Ramotar in the National Park

The cultural presentation was ongoing simultaneously with the display of exhibits  by participants who lined the outer corridors of the venue with something African in store for everyone.

Among them was the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport which through the Museum of African Heritage, shed spotlight on a country within Africa among other exhibits at its booth.

 

As a regular patron of the August 1,  cultural celebration, the Culture Ministry’s presence was also included in performances with a contingent from the National School of Dance in the roster of activities.

Youths performing in the National Park during Emancipation celebrations

Drumming, a key feature of  African culture was prominently showcased with performances from the Hebrew Family of Guyana, the Buxton Fusion drummers and the Flame of the Heart Cultural Group from Linden.

The three sisters who gained popularity for the ‘click song,’ which impressed many as an accurate impression of the African dialect performed the Pata Pata and one other song while Ras Aaron recited a poem and Kamadya Yisrael followed with a similar but  rhythmic and dramatic poem.

A contingent from neighbouring Suriname participated in this year’s event, saluting President Ramotar and other dignitaries as they passed by carrying their nation’s flag proudly.

 

The parade entitled ‘Hello Africa’ was led by children and followed by other groups such as masqueraders and contingents from Mocha Arcadia, Calcutta, Catherina and Vergenoegen and the Zebra Children’s network which included the young girl and her goat.

President Donald Ramotar sits alongside US director and writer Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony, Opposition Leader David Granger and Mexican Ambassador Francisco Olguin during Emancipation Day celebration in the National Park

With a few exceptions, African attire was worn by patrons whether of African descent or not.

The 175th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery and Emancipation of Enslaved Africans coincides with the 250th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion, the 190th Anniversary of the 1823 Slave Rebellion, and simultaneously the arrival of East Indian immigrants and the 160th anniversary of the arrival of Chinese indentured labourers.

 

On August 5,  the 1823 Monument at  Carifesta Avenue in the vicinity of the Kitty Seawall is scheduled for unveiling.

 

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