It seems that some people are sceptical about Guyanese using the term ‘summer’ in current entertainment events or signature names when we experience a summer climate all year round. It grinds people’s gears to see Guyana kneeling to the ‘American’ traditions of marketing and production; even Halloween is becoming a Guyanese marketing tradition – but that’s another story.
I try explaining to people that the word Summer used in those contexts is not specific to the season, but the time of the year… Summer Holidays, Summer Vacation, Summer limes – what else can we call it… August fest? (That sounds a little better, bad example!) Regardless, the producers are not trying to sugar coat parties to seduce people into thinking we have fancy seasons and fancy seasonal traditions, it’s just a title for the time!
Calendar seasons are formed from the earth’s yearly revolution around the sun and the 230 tilt of the planet’s axis. Depending on the position of the land, sunlight ranges in intensity according to how it reaches the planet’s surface resulting in different animal behaviours, plant dormancy and even weather patterns. Summer is defined as the warmest of the four temperate seasons when the days are longest and the nights are shortest. Cool fact: When it is summer in the northern hemisphere, it is winter in the southern hemisphere. It is generally known that Guyana experiences a tropical climate which has two general seasons: a wet season and a dry season.
Strange to know, but because Guyana is technically in the northern atmosphere (just by one tiny degree) so we do experience a little difference because of the earth’s tilted axis! For example, the sun is regularly hotter between June – August than other days AND the sun does set five to fifteen minutes later than the average 5:56. The same changes are noticeable in the Guyanese winter when vehicular regulations require all motor lights to be turned on by 5:40 – so you see? We do experience some little changes.
And take into account La Nina effects are usually felt during the dry, still summer days. Just recently the Ministry of Agriculture predicted a La Nina effect soon.
Whether the “summer” title is debated or not… I don’t see a problem with it. Just like the US it’s a time when most kids are off from school. It’s the time of year when tourists are travelling across the globe. It is the time when everyone loves a snow cone by the pool (or in Guyana’s case… the creek!)
Guyanese enjoy summer breaks just as much as the rest of the world! So why not use the same name? If I am not mistaken this time of the year is genip season! Well if the trees bear in seasons who is to say Guyana has one continuous season. The season of summer is the season of genips! Or else the trees would be bearing the juicy fruit all year round and we would just get bored.
So enjoy this great season so that by the time it concludes, it would have been well spent. (Jairo Rodrigues)