It is with much anticipation that many of us have looked forward to the upcoming 40th year celebration of what was once the uniquely Nevisian festival CULTURAMA.
However, with last week’s announcement and display of the costumes for the children’s parade, it is clear, that we have lost a great opportunity to bridge the gap and share the history of CULTURAMA with those who celebrate the festival today. A great learning lesson for many, and trip down memory lane for others has been missed, replaced now, by aTrinidadian Carnival style parade where the history of CULTURAMA would be non-existent.
Consider this for a moment. A children’s parade that pays homage to the birth, growth and development of CULTURAMA. Imagine a parade of 5 sections; In section one, our youngsters, boys dressed in khaki pants, white shirts with straw hats and madrass sashes and girls dressed in madrass skirts, white blouses and the other regalia worn by Darrell Dore and his quadrille dancers of old. All carrying signage paying homage to the founders of NEDACS and the organizers of Culturama. Let the names of persons like Calvin Howell, Lyra Richards, Irma Johnson, Emile Wattley, Clifford ‘Boots’ and Sylvester ‘Major’Griffin, Aneltha Richards and her sons, Janet ‘Sita’ Robinson, Sarah Daniel, Elston Wilkes, and the others be known and celebrated. There a many others who contributed greatly.
In Section two we highlight our Royalty with our Miss Culture Queens and Runners Up. Let young female future leaders depict the Queens in a demonstration of Nevisian beauty. Cudos to our very first Miss Culture, No better examples are there than those of Lucina Stapleton Wade, Shirley Wilkes and others.
Section 3 highlights our Calypso Kings,( the first one being De Mighty Zero) and the great story tellers of Nevis, like Cramby, Dis N Dat, Meeko, Chaplet, Joe Joe, Pupa Wheeler, Zumbi Diggi , Sandopi, Ginger, Flamingo, Singing Vannie, Lord Cam, to name a few, who have made our CULTURAMA memorable.
Darrell Dore, David Freeman, Maypole and Blue Ribbon Dancers, Red Cross, Giant d’Spear, Masquarades, Clowns, Bazzod Boys, Bulls, the String Bands, the Big Drums, IC’s Brass and Soul Survivors, these will all make up section 4, to highlight the performers who made CULTURAMA, CULTURAMA.
In section 5 we highlight the sponsors: Cable and Wireless/Skantel/Lime, TDC, Carib Brewery, Arthur Evelyn, Almond Nisbett, Williams Main Street Grocery, Chiverton Island Tyres, Nevisians in Connecticut, Boston and Canada Organisations, Rest Haven, Golden Rock, Zetlands, Pinneys Beach and Montpellier Hotels, Nevis Club and Conch Shell and the others. Not to forget Expats like the Andersons, the Roby’s and the Knudsens. In this section we also highlight, the revelers and Vendors. We must also salute Bohlkie and Coastal Air for direct flights into Nevis from the Virgin Islands, and the ferry services between the neighbouring Islands, sometimes bringing in Bands from St Eustatius and St Kitts.
See, with a little more thought and a few questions asked, we could have saluted our great CULTURAMA, by sharing its history with our new residents, taking our returning nationals on a trip down memory lane, instilled a love for our Nevisian culture in our youth, and spark an renewed interest in the purity of CULTURAMA.
But no! , we choose a few fancy costumes, and no substance.
Happy Culturama 40 when it comes.