Carnival stakeholders share concerns over culture

Chairman of the Festivals Commission, Maurice Merchant inviting comments and suggestions from the audience during the 2016 Carnival Symposium, which came to a finale yesterday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. (Photo by Makeida Antonio)
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Carnival is in need of a cultural intervention, was the view of those in attendance at the 2016 Carnival Symposium yesterday.

Director at Shiva’s School of Dance, Tavia Hunte who lecturers at the Antigua State College, said carnival appears to be empty because individuals who are knowledgeable about the culture of Antigua & Barbuda are not given the platform to educate the youth.

“One of the concerns that I have is that our carnival seems to have fallen off the cliff because of imbalance. Now, you can’t have a house without a steady foundation. Our carnival appears to be empty, and I use the word appear, because the persons who know about the culture of this country and understand the history have not come to the platform or are prevented from coming to the platform where they could advise or maybe steer the ideas that come forward for the celebrations,” Hunte said.

She also said while she is happy that the church has come forward by virtue of attending the symposium, it takes much more than offering criticisms of the festivities to fix it.

“The church has stepped forward, and I’m happy about that. But you can’t condemn and embrace; you can’t criticise and help. You, as the church body, if you feel that there is a shift in the souls of the people, you have to step in and support the community; not by judging them but by educating them in a manner in which you can reach them,” Hunte said.

Meantime, Chairperson of the Antigua & Barbuda Reparations Support Commission, Dorbrene O’Marde also expressed his concerns to Bishop Charlesworth Browne about the church’s involvement in carnival and questioned the efficiency of church leadership.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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