The mastery of embracing our jumbie-story culture

Miss Earth Guyana Xamiera Kippins in the ‘Ole Higue’ costume for which she copped gold in the costume segment of the Miss Earth pageant which is ongoing in the Philippines. (Anthony Indar photo)

I ponder at times why we as Guyanese people are so reluctant to embrace parts of our culture. Perhaps our national identify hasn’t been solidified in public spaces enough for us to grow a strong collective belief in it. However, for the most part, what is truly saddening is the fact that we try to conceal it and whitewash it as much as possible. I find tremendous joy in speaking Guyanese creole, I even taught my husband a few words, but many people would regard it as improper English, a statement I find condescending. It sends the message that as people we are faceless until we conform. But what are we without our independent heritage, folklore, languages; what are we without our culture? These are the things that define us as a people. These are the things that make us unique and interesting.

Take for instance Halloween, an extremely commercialized celebration with a Celtic background. Today Halloween is predominately celebrated by trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, costume wearing and horror-movie watching. Of course, Guyana has never fallen short of jumping on a band wagon and more so failing to personalize it…..

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