[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has announced that it has a packed calendar of activities, to commemorate Guyana’s 45th Republic Anniversary. Mashramani 2015 is being celebrated under the theme ‘One People One Culture One Celebration.’
The children’s activities are well streamed, through the Ministry of Education, for all schools. This year’s activities will commence on January 19, in schools across the regions.
The final Mashramani competition for the children is scheduled for February 12 to the 14. The Dance and Masquerade competition will be held on February 12, Calypso and Dramatic Poetry on February 13, and the Costume parade is slated for February 14. The rehearsals for the competitions are well underway among the participating schools.
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Frank Anthony noted that Mash festivities will feature the traditional calypso, soca and chutney competitions.
The Calypso competition comprises two categories; junior and adult competitions. The junior calypso competition is expecting to field 11 contestants, while the adult competition will feature 20 participants. The semi-finals will be held at Bartica, while the final competition is slated for Thirst Park.
The National Music School band will perform for the junior calypso contestants, while the Mingles Sound Machine band will accompany the adult performers.
In addition, the Mashramani Chutney Competition will feature 19 contestants, who will be guided by the Shakti Strings band. The competition has been slated for Anna Regina Centre Ground on January 31.
The Mashramani Soca Monarch competition is expected to be the highlight for Mashramani celebrations. The competition comprises two categories; the semi-finals will be held at Berbice, while the final competition has been slated for the National Park. The competition will feature performances from the Heat Wave band.
The Minister said that over the years, the ministry has been working to resuscitate steel pan music in schools. This has been evident through part-time music teachers who were placed at various schools, to teach students to play the steel pan.
The Mashramani 2015 steel band competition has been divided into two categories; school band, which has been divided into a small and large group, and the customary category. These competitions will be held at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
In addition, this year’s competition will feature an open contest of solo and duets, comprising six bands and a number of solo artistes will be performing.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has been working with persons to develop masquerade bands over the year. Dance steps recorded on discs and manuals have been procured to educate persons on masquerade.
In addition, Minister Anthony said that the ministry will continue to work to encourage masquerade performers, so as to ensure that this art form is preserved.
A masquerade competition will be held in Essequibo, due to the increased number of masquerade bands present there. Bands from Regions Three, Four, Five and Ten are expected to participate in the masquerade competition.
Meanwhile, a new activity has been added to this year’s calendar of activities; this includes a literary street fair. This fair will feature an exhibition of books on Guyana’s history and the reason for Mashramani celebrations. This event will be held in front of the Ministry of Culture on Main Street on February 20, and it aims to encourage reading among the populace.
The annual Mashramani Costume Float parade is slated for February 23, and it promises to be bigger and better. The parade will traverse from Camp and Church Streets to the National Park. A safety committee will be implemented on the day of the Costume Float parade to ensure that the safety of patrons.
In addition, the ten administrative regions will also be hosting their annual Mashramani activities, parallel to the central Mashramani programmes. [Extracted and modified from GINA]