October 22, 2013

National Heritage Parade and Pageant bring new excitement

Tue Oct 22, 2013

Two relatively recent additions to the Independence calendar of activities have given our annual celebration of nationhood a much needed shot of adrenaline.{{more}}

The National Heritage Parade and the Secondary Schools’ Miss Heritage Competition, which were both held last week, have been hailed by many as great successes, mainly because of the quality of the respective productions, and the way they have been able to excite and capture the interest of Vincentians of all ages, but mainly the younger generation.

The National Heritage Parade through Kingstown saw the participation of groups and individuals, representing and portraying specific heritage and cultural groups and activities such as dancers, performing artistes, nation builders, traditional games and sports people.

There are very few activities in which grandparents and teens are able to participate together and have a good time while doing so. Last Tuesday’s Heritage Parade was one such event. The senior citizens, the reservoir of our heritage, were given pride of place in the parade and honoured for their contribution to nation building, while the youngsters, the hope of the nation, proudly wore their national colours, providing the energy and excitement to the event with their dances and drumming.

Events such as these are also significant, because they provide avenues for showcasing the heritage and culture of St Vincent and the Grenadines, many aspects of which are slipping into obscurity. Important too, is the fact that the Parade provides lenses through which our people are able to view nationhood, heritage and what it means to be Vincentian, in a context other than the annual military parade, which, over the years, has become the definitive activity for marking the anniversary of our Independence.

The Secondary Schools Miss Heritage pageant, from all reports, is now the benchmark to which all other pageants held here will have to reach. Some have commented that in last Saturday’s show, the young delegates were able to keep the audience thoroughly entertained without nudity, vulgarity or generally lewd behaviour.

Also interesting is that in a time when clubs and organizations have been complaining that sponsorship for their activities has been drying up, the organizers of these two events have been able to attract major sponsorship from not one, but three financial institutions, in addition to other corporate sponsors, who seemingly have recognized quality and want to be associated with it. There is a lesson to be learnt here.

Congratulations to the host of these activities, the Girls’ High School Heritage Committee and the many volunteers who work with the school to successfully pull off these events, within days of each other. Good work!