Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2016. 9:50 am CST.
By Giselle O’Brien:
[The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.]
If you are a Belizean following any social media site, you would have seen or heard of the September Parade in Belmopan yesterday, where the Guatemalan flag was proudly presented behind a suspiciously smaller Belizean flag. If you were like me, you scrolled down to read the angry opinions and comments, replies and conversations on each posting of the proud moment. What a way to start our beloved September Celebrations!
Or should I say Carnival? After all, in Belize City we did start with a proud display of Panyard at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. You bloody hypocrites.
So am I! We claim to ‘celebrate’ our heritage by banging on an instrument that isn’t ours, wining to a music that isn’t ours, and appropriating a culture that we barely noticed seven years ago. Since when did we become a nation of ‘bacchanalists’? When did we move from the brukdown and punta music, into an appropriation of poorly executed Soca Music? And please, tell me Belizeans, when did a ‘bash’ become a ‘fete’? Are we really just a nation of thieves, blatantly stealing other cultures and putting it on display?
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the sounds of steel pan and the body of Kees Dieffenthaller as much as the next person, but that they should be the highlights and center of our so-called season of heritage is a slap to the face of every Belizean trying so very hard to preserve the little that we have. We live in a country where we celebrate the foreign and ignore the local. Our heritage, so watered-down by the influence of Europeans and destroyed by the missionaries who came here to ‘spread the word’ is being further lost by our own ignorance and lack of self-belief. The nation we claim to be so proud of has had its roots poisoned by its own people, who choose instead to mimic other cultures instead of embracing their own. Wake up, Belizeans! The so-called melting pot has truly melted, becoming a faceless mass with no real link to the past, blindly searching for another culture’s future.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Is there hope for Belize’s local culture? (I like to think so!)
Leave your comments below!
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
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