Sixteen Guyanese artistes are to contest for the National Chutney Monarch crown at the finals set for January 5 at the National Cultural Centre (NCC), according to the Government Information Agency.
Among those vying for the crown are defending Monarch Haresh Singh, two-time winner Fiona Singh, and Terry Gajraj. They earned the top three spots in the 2012 leg of the competition and automatically qualified for the finals of the Trinidad and Tobago Chutney competition, an annual feature of the country’s Carnival celebration. This was made possible through collaboration between the Ministry and the Trinidadians, GINA said.
For 2013, only the winner of the competition will be sent to Trinidad and commenting on this development, Convenor of the National Chutney Competition, Neaz Subhan said that it still is a good move. “The fact that we have our people who can compete with the Trinidadians is a good thing for this competition because they will learn and it only serves to improve what we already have,” he said.
The quality and the nature of Guyanese music have been having an impact in Trinidad, Subhan said. “We have zero tolerance on lyrics that promote the use of alcohol, domestic violence, sexual abuse and these kinds of things, and they have taken a leaf out of our book at the 2012 competition that they also had that rule in,” he is quoted by GINA as saying.
According to GINA, Subhan lauded the interest that the competition received this year from young talent, an important aspect to the longevity of the competition. “This year we have quite a few young artistes competing, and that is a good sign because it shows that there is interest,” he said.
“Things like that serve to, or indicate, not only interest, but the fact that a competition like this can be sustained. The fact that we have young people in the competition augurs well for its longevity, and we want to encourage more people to be a part of this,” he said.