Three recent articles you published stir me to ask you to "beat that drum" of binding ties of our shared cultural heritage. Dave Martins in his letter captioned "Our culture can be an effective paddle in this journey" (06.05.06) speaks for many who would gladly wear the placard: "committed culturalist".
His description of the many attributes that "stamps one as Guyanese" is revealing in its depth. The stamp ought to be a front page story, every day, through these disconcerting times.
What we are today, as manifested in the many and not the few, is what will take us forward and well into the future. Vibert Cambridge has described our "cultural genetics" as the source of our common stamp.
Therefore, we can bury the misgivings of the skeptics by reminding them of recent achievements motivated by these genetics and other noble deeds. One example is the production and publication of the CD "Is We Ting". In 2004, Ken Corsbie called it the "most ambitious compilation of Guyanese music ever". But it is more than a music compilation.
The array of talents displayed in the finished work includes the creativity of different types of artistes, yes, and the skilfulness of an enabling cadre of people, too. Many of the latter are not likely to be well-known and may have come from far flung places across the length and breadth of our dear land. These enablers have left their imprimatur, albeit mostly uncelebrated. For that reason, as we contemplate our current circumstances, we should reflect on what our nurturers contributed to our collective personality. We ought to recognize them, from Morawhanna to Rupununi, Spring-lands to Orinduik, and reinvigorate ourselves from their tutelage.
The Guyana Cultural Association of New York, the producer of "Is We Ting" provides another opportunity this year for the celebration of those who helped mould our heritage. The Guyana Cultural Association 2006 Awards will recognize the enablers of "our culture." An invitation for nominations is described here http://www.guyfolkfest.org/awards_nominations.htm.
Let us beat the drums in celebration of the drum beaters past, and the committed culturalists of the present.