Identity challenge – and losing our soul

Why the Islanders supported corruption

The Law and Karan’s Nose

So the world is now a Global Village? How did that phenomenon come about? Because all of present-day mankind – ethnicities, races, religions – originated in one place, Africa’?

Because of continuous migration and modern communication technology?

Early intrepid explorers, sometime aided and rewarded by greedy ambitious Emperors, Kings, Queens and “Conquerors” of every hue, carved out “countries” from the spoils of invasions, occupations and settlement. Today the continents are populated by countries – each with their own characteristics. Over centuries and generations, countries strive to become homogeneous collectives wherein their inhabitants are moulded into nations. Each nation hopes that it is peaceful, productive, progressive, recognized and identifiable.

So what am I going on about today? Tolerate my mini-lecturette in the following seven paragraphs. The government’s Ministry of Tourism – not the Culture Ministry, mind you – is advertising an August 2014 Guyana Festival. It’s being touted as a festival to promote local arts, food and music. The entertainment segments seek to recall our past singers who still capture musical attention and should evoke the nostalgia of the over-fifties/sixties who love to re-live the good, bad old days. Then there is to be a night of Generation Next. This “concert” is to feature the current and future stars of whatever they proclaim to be – or become.

Since the organisers hint at either recapturing or mirroring our Guyanese soul, I immediately felt my cynicism awakened. Why? It is slowly but surely dawning upon me that, as a people on these square miles of the planet, now named Guyana, we are losing that soul or identity. Or willingly having it refashioned for us. Just listen to Generation Next. (Even some of the “icons” to be invited from up “North”.)


Body here, migrated mind

I suppose we shouldn’t be afraid to face this social reality. The economic organization of the global community after the last major “World War” and the always unfair distribution of wealth garnered from Guyana’s resources by the political greedy, have done a job on too many of us. (I hear it’s a phenomenon present in much of the under-developed world!)

People journey to better-off places to realize dreams. They take more brawn and brains to maintain and sustain the already-developed. Usually they walk with their native Spirit and Soul. Sudanese and Somalia’s Muslims want to dress and worship in France as they did at home. Koreans and Japanese relive customs in Britain. Foreign immigrants-turn-American “Citizens” proudly retain vestiges of their homelands. Even the thousands and thousands of Guyanese, who, seemingly, prefer to be “absorbed”, now behave like proud, feisty Jamaicans, and import elements of their heritage – food, music, folklore, national ceremonies – into their new North American “homes.”

Meanwhile, back in the original Guyana homeland? The bodies of the young citizens reside here, but their minds long for “foreign”, as they refer to where they would prefer to be. And how their foreign mind-set is assisted and abetted!

The Tourism Ministry’s Guyana Festival will be at Providence. But we’ll hear the Jamaican songs and sounds. (We’re all Caribbean Cousins yes, but do Guyanese songs proliferate in those islands?). Culturally, despite all the formal “cultural presentations” at national events, there has been a heritage-disconnect among emerging generations since 1966’s “independence”. Partly because too many look outwards even as American-style clothes, foods, T.V. social media, advertisements and accents intrude and infiltrate relentlessly. Get a Florida-style home!

I know what I do to keep the identity and soul alive, even as the young, including officialdom’s sons and daughters acquire the visas, but I’m sensing defeat. What can your family, community and the Ministry of Culture do about it? Discuss.


The Islanders and Corruption

The political and civic representatives of the working-class citizens of Guyisle, an independent State off South American’s Guiana Shield, met with them to discuss the legal and political implications and consequences of Executive lawlessness and Executive Corruption.

Corruption had pervaded most institutions of government and governance. Things were so bad that whenever a governmental decision-maker announced some new event or project, Guyisle’s populace seemed adept at detecting how the Island’s ruling party and new elite would benefit.

So sensing, experiencing the ingrained, cancerous institutionalization of corrupt practices as a way of life, the Opposition’s representatives passed a Motion in the Parliament of the People: “That all of Guyisle’s working-class dedicate their professional skills and abilities to assist national corrupt ventures.” These national enterprises should no longer enrich only the Rulers. But all citizens should benefit from their taxes being utilized.

So now the Islanders and their young see little wrong with corruption, graft and greed. Wealth must not reside only amongst a few. As the Ministers build mansions, as the Pastors shop in dubious establishments and as the Cartels build edifices in the capital, the Islanders are determined to be among that wickedly-wealthy few.


Justice – and Karan’s nose

As I began to pen these notes I came across a letter, written by a quietly-outraged citizen, on the issue. She explored the almost dead concept of being our brother’s keeper.

My now usual perspective has to do simply with how our system of justice will attend to yet another viciously-violent crime, wherein a group of men savagely hacked away at another human.

Karan Persaud’s wife saw them stabbing and cutting away at her husband. After he fell, they still propped him up to continue their savagery. They took time to slice off Karan’s nose! The attackers pelted the wife who stood her ground above her bloodied, fainted husband/victim.

“Investigations are continuing” Persons should be charged. What will happen in Court? The assault has to be proven. The accused must have legal representation, however they plead. It is the best system we have.

Meanwhile how will Karan breathe the breath of justice?



*1) My granddaughter will be twenty-two in a few weeks’ time. The PPP/C will be in power for 22 years of the 48 since Independence. How have they done?

*2) How does former Opposition Leader R.H.O Corbin feel about political issues these days?

*3)   How do devout Muslims fare in the Federative Republic of Brazil?


Til next week!



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