Our Readers' Opinions
July 18, 2017
Pageantry is very much part of Vincy Mas

Editor: Having listened to cultural officer, Michael Peters’s assertion that “Miss SVG has no national significance…” in keeping with his definition of Carnival as “Calypso, ‘Mas and Pan”, I have penned the following response to Michael

Carnival, one of our national cultural festivals, is more accurately defined as ‘Calypso, ‘Mas, Pageantry and Pan (alphabetical order). In this cultural package, Pageantry is the celebration of FEMALE beauty, talent and intelligence. The female, in and of herself, holds national significance which needs no explanation, neither does the celebration of her beauty. However, male chauvinism and religious hypocrisy often seek to rubbish the recognition of female beauty in the quest to relegate it to the wantonly carnal and ‘sinful’.

The reality, the cultural reality, is that the Miss SVG competition has been a component of our nation’s Carnival festivity for over 50 years, because it echoes in the bone of who we are as a people. …a people who (despite the natural and inevitable criticisms) recognize that the female, in all her physical and intellectual beauty, is worthy of celebration and is integral to our identity as a nation.

Now, the value of the prize awarded to Miss SVG, as opposed to other

components of Carnival is a different issue. The value of the scholarship earned by Miss SVG could be replicated by other components in ways relevant to those components. Indeed, pan, in particular is an extremely expensive product which is highly labour intensive; but this reality does not mean that Miss SVG’s earnings are unwarranted. It means that pan and other components have to make representation to justify the increase in their earnings/rewards.

Finally, we, as a nation, must guard against the hijacking of our indigenous cultural expressions by myopic religious fanatics from the notoriously racist southern states of Trump country. We, as a people, like to dance, yes, whine; our feet are close to the earth…physical movement is part and parcel of our natural expression. …”I hope we dance!”

Annie-Laurie