– Coordinator Canterbury
THE jubilation and intense festivity that surrounded this year’s Mashramani celebration came to a close on March 7, when the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, in collaboration with the Mash Secretariat, hosted its prize-giving ceremony in Georgetown.
In an exclusive interview, the Secretariat Coordinator, Mr. Lennox Canterbury told the Guyana Chronicle, yesterday, that the 2014 programme was executed with considerable, if not astounding success.
He noted that it was launched in October 2013 and a series of events in the Calypso, Chutney and related genre were staged as part of the 2014 activities.
Canterbury said great emphasis was placed, this year, on the intellectual aspect and, as such, several lectures, educative exhibitions, art contests and other competitions were put on.
He said that was done so as not to allow the annual event to be a one day celebration but instead offer intellectual, social and cultural contests.
While Canterbury acknowledged that the commemorative side of things dealt with the hosting of flag-raising in all 10 Administrative Regions of Guyana, and at the Public Buildings, he expressed disappointment that, yet again, the planners were faced with the congestion problem along Irving Street in the city.
He recalled that, over time that has been hampering the progression of floats and costume bands using the official route on Mash Day.
Canterbury said, as a result of this continuing challenge, the last float did not arrive in the National Park for final judging until after 19:30 hrs.
He said this situation will have to be resolved for Mashramani 2015 and an alternative route may very well have to serve as the solution.
Canterbury is, however, comfortable with the outcome of the social aspect of Mash 2014 which, he said, was considerably improved by the quality of floats and costumes that took to the road.
He is particularly happy with the fact that participants kept in tune with this year’s theme ‘Cultural Folklore, Celebrating 44’ and brought out the Guyanese culture, folklore and tradition in the form of attractive costumes and dazzling floats.
Canterbury was not too pleased, though, with the quality of music supplied by competing calypsonians this year, declaring that the songs reflected too much of political issues and, in some instances, matter that certainly could not be aired on the radio.
This year the ‘big truck revelling’ was introduced into the Mash Day Parade by a few entities and, while he has no qualms about that initiative, he posited that the safety of the vehicles would be an issue to be closely examined come Mash 2015.
That aside, Canterbury wishes to thank the Guyana Police Force (GPF), participant celebrants, the media and the general public for an incident free 2014 Mashramani and emphasised that the secretariat will, most certainly, look, in the near future, at means of developing the festival.
On that note, he said the Mash Secretariat is open to suggestions to help in making the Mashramani celebrations a ‘true Guyanese festival’.