Since around 2005 it has become one of the rites of Summer for Guyanese abroad, especially in the United States and Canada, to hold village reunions in one of the many scenic parks of the city in which they live. Recent years have seen a marked proliferation of these social events as every village seeks to claim a day for itself. Indeed, it is not unusual for there to be two village reunions side by side in different sections of the park. A village reunion is seen as an opportunity for people who identify with a particular village to come together for a day of fun and games, and to recall the memories of life in times gone by in the village they once called home. This year a bunch of young Guyanese, who met on Facebook, have decided to stage a reunion in Guyana for all Guyanese, including those in the diaspora.
The event is called ‘Guyana Reunion and Family Fun Day’ and is to held on Sunday, July 7 on the grounds of the Port Mourant Community Centre. The event features The Caribbean Hot Shots Band live on stage as well as acclaimed singers Terry Gajraj from New York and Anant Hansraj from Orlando, Florida. The Credit Comedian Group is set to make an appearance and is expected to be a crowd-pleaser. One of the highlights of this first-ever Guyana Reunion will be a limited over ladies softball match between the Karibee Strikers of Berbice and the Trophy Stall Angels of Demerara. DJ Dauren and the Crown Vibes Sounds will also add flavour and spice to the entertainment array which includes tassa drumming and performances by several local groups of dancers and singers.
The organizers of the Guyana Reunion have a serious objective beyond the day’s fun and frolic. They are hoping their event will raise enough funds to give scholarships to high school grads about to enter the University of Guyana as well as to students attending high school. The scholarships are to be called the Cuffy Scholarship and the Ramakhan Scholarship in recognition of the fact that the year 2013 witnessed the 250th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion and the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Indian indentured labourers ‒ not to mention the 160th anniversary of the arrival of the Chinese, and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the University of Guyana.
The goals of the event’s organizers, some of whom are mere teenagers, are highly commendable. As they wrote in their charter, “Our mission is to advocate commonalities of roots, loyalty, and obligation to our country.
“We are using social networking, Facebook mainly, to engage local and diasporic Guyanese in an innovative way to uplift our communities by joining Guyanese hands and hearts across the continents.”
One would hope that corporate Guyana has taken notice and would step in to support their initiative. Major kudos to the organizing committee and may good fortune attend their endeavours.