STAYING true to local culture, the Ministry of Social Cohesion, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, launched its Mash band on Monday at the E. R. Burrowes School of Arts, boasting 300 plus costumes and revellers.
The ministry’s mash band takes on the look and feel of ‘everything Guyanese’ by utilising only the colours of the Golden Arrowhead and costume decorations utilising representations of the Cacique Crown and the Victoria Regia Lily.
Meanwhile, the floats for the King and Queen of the band are decorated with the popular Hibiscus flower; the country’s national bird–the Canje Pheasant–and several butterflies, birds and frogs.
Coordinator of the Mash Camp, Volda Ramsammy, told the Guyana Chronicle that the motivation behind the designs is aimed at encouraging Guyanese to be proud of their own vibrant culture. “Because it is a Guyanese event, one of our biggest…we have decided to use the national colours to do all of our costumes…we want Guyanese to keep focus on the reason for this event.” “In the past I have observed that Guyanese we’re shying away to other people’s culture like Carnival, Crop-over…we want to look more like Brazil or Trinidad, but I think we should be proud of who we are and we need to showcase what Guyana is about and what Guyanese nationality means to us,” Ramsammy said.
Minister of Social Cohesion, George Norton was in full support of the costumes, labelling them as a true representation of hard work, social cohesion and Guyanese pride. “I spoke with those who were involved and I thought we needed something much more like what we have now. And I am totally in agreement with what we have produced.
I think this is what Social Cohesion is all about,” he said adding: “I am also hoping that this is going to lead the way and other folks will follow pattern in the sense that it depicts what Guyana is all about–our Coat-of-Arms, our national symbols, our own flowers and humming birds.”
The minister said, too, that over the years the school has developed an excellent track record which will be difficult to surpass and recommends that more individuals become involved with the arts school.