Various amounts totalling $1.6M were yesterday handed to 46 African cultural groups by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport for them to carry out activities for the 176th Emancipation celebrations.
Heads and other members of various African Cultural groups were present to receive the cheques at a ceremony at the National Cultural Centre, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported. The Emancipation activities, which are supported by government, will foster awareness as well as encourage persons to be involved in cultural activities and bring together persons from various backgrounds, GINA said.
The release reported that Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony said at the ceremony, that Guyana has a rich diversity and it needs to be utilised in order to enrich the lives of citizens. He noted that every citizen must share the nation’s history, whether good or bad, and encouraged the present and future generations to understand it. In addition to physical damage, there was also physiological damage done, from which persons are still trying to recover and when the groups would work in communities and teach ideals that were passed on from ancestors, it would unknowingly be part of the healing process, the Minister emphasized.
He said that the Ministry is pleased to work with the groups and will assist them as a means of promoting culture in the country and advised them to do outreaches to the communities and record experiences of “slaves who might still be alive”, GINA reported.
Anthony also said that the Museum of African Heritage, as well as the resource centre near it is not being utilized enough. The Museum needs to have more artifacts, books and DVDs and it is the groups’ responsibility to satisfy these needs, he emphasized. Guyana Classics books containing testimonies of slaves will soon be published for more persons to understand the country’s history, GINA said.
Slaves were emancipated when Great Britain finally acceded to abolition of slavery on August 1, 1834.