I am tired of hearing it. I heard it again this week. In a private group and later in a public session I heard it again: Guyanese are an ethnically divided people, with racist attitudes, and (here’s the tiresome part) it is shameful that we are unwilling or unable to overcome this problem.
Among the number of significant social forces in the apparatus of daily life one encounters in the more developed world (US, Canada, Europe, etc) is the array of institutions functioning in those societies that serve, ultimately, to convey the opinions or positions of the average citizen to the persons and political parties in positions of rule.
In recent months, observers of Guyana’s tourism industry have noted the contributions coming from both government and private sector in a number of energetic moves that translate into very hopeful signs for the industry.
My mother was an unusual woman who had, among other attributes, an inclination to laugh at anything and everything. In fact, as a youngster, I would often be puzzled at some of the things this woman would laugh at – me bucking my toe, for instance, or my sister’s Sunbeam Oil-Bath bicycle leaking oil – but later in life, as I started writing songs for Tradewinds, it gradually dawned on me that I had developed the same addiction to humour.
Professional musicians can operate in the large developed cities of the world without ever leaving the familiar comforts of their home town, but when, through recordings, they become known internationally, being “on the road,” as musicians term it, becomes a significant part of the way they live.
Guyana has a range of introspective people, and you meet them in the most unexpected places. Last week, for instance, a man on the Robb Street pavement came up to me, started talking Tradewinds, and we ended up in a long rambling conversation on a variety of things.
As someone involved in the entertainment business generally, not just music, I am always intrigued by the circumstances in our country’s history that provide so much fertile opportunity for songs, literature, sculpture, plays, painting, dance, etc, to come before us as part of the entertainment landscape.