Chutney lovers have attempted to take alcohol out of genre, industry seems to be pushing back

Dear Editor,

There were full page colour ads promoting alcohol consumption from ANSA McAl and GTT in the Sunday papers of 29 October, 2017. The ads are for  “Chutney Explosions” close to communities where “Indian Guyanese’ live. The ads seem targeted at lovers of chutney music. It seems that tickets are not on sale. It isn’t clear if people have to buy alcohol as part of the ANSA McAl promotions to participate in the Explosions.

Chutney has evolved out of the ‘Indian Guyanese/ Indian Caribbean” experience. Alcohol consumption has caused destruction in many Guyanese, including “Indian Guyanese” families and communities. Many chutney lovers have attempted to take the alcohol out of the genre, including at the National competitions, but the alcohol industry seems to be on a push back. Most of the communities around the Explosion venues have no recovery services available for people dealing with problems which are intensified by alcohol.  ‘Explosions’ are usually destructive. ANSA McAl and GTT must be sophisticated enough to know that addiction gives profit to the alcohol industry, and that donations and sponsorship here and there do not alleviate those problems.

The great irony about Guyana, is that anti-tobacco legislation was recently passed which bans any similar kind of promotion activity by the tobacco industry. Alcohol poses a greater health burden than tobacco in Guyana and Latin America.

Some Hindus were upset when the alcohol industry used the recent Diwali festival to promote their products. Hindus who like chutney might not know that the promotion of health and well- being is not only for Hindu festivals, but all the time.

Yours faithfully,

Vidyaratha Kissoon

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