Thursday, February 22, 2024
HomeEditorialFocusing on our own at this time!

Focusing on our own at this time!

This week the focus seemed to have been on an artiste from Trinidad and Tobago who managed somehow to get a contract to perform at a show in Grenada on February 06 – one day before the official Independence celebration. From all appearances, it is very strange that around this time of national hype we would deny a local artiste the opportunity to perform, and go for a foreign one. We are already seeing the problems associated with that in our Carnival where there is talk of foreign bands dictating the rules when they come here.

Grenadians are now in different genres of music and for those of you who are not followers of calypso and soca, there are Thamara ‘Songbird’ St Bernard, Jefferson Ramirez, Laura Lisa, Lady Empress and her daughter Sabrina and more. Whatever has happened to Psycho Bobb who came out with a splash some years ago? His song – Ride on, is still being played on local radio but not much is said about him. Recently, a young lady who we learnt is his daughter, appeared on stage with another artiste and she did well. So to the producer that selected the foreign artiste when the focus is on local, Grenadians would love to see Psycho Bobb and his daughter together on stage. What a fresh breeze that would be!

This newspaper is not getting into the argument that the foreign artiste is a gangsta as posted in social media. Our concern is on focusing on local at this time, and as the artiste posted –why blame him for the violence in your country when he is only using his talent to make an honest living for himself and his family? The point here is that the producer knows his talent; so just who he had in mind to be his target audience for the show?

While we take a deep look at local, we would like to appeal to parents to focus a little more on raising children to embrace local. On two different occasions I did some shopping at, what maybe the biggest supermarket in Grand Anse, and was taken aback when the young cashier asked me on the first occasion whether the manioc I was paying for was a yam. Then on the other occasion another cashier asked me whether I was paying for green fig or bananas. I did not think it funny at all. In fact, I am hoping that after reading this editorial people will understand that the word ‘local’ is becoming quite foreign to young people.

This newspaper is suggesting that we try starting over and this time with the younger children who are still at school. We await the revelation from the new Minister of Agriculture on programmes to get a buy in on local foods from young children. Let’s see what he can come up with for the schools because the road we are on, seems to be heading towards a lost generation. After recently ordering a bowl of soup at a restaurant in Saint George’s and getting a bowl of Ramen, I have come to the conclusion that we are definitely going the wrong way. Whatever has happened to a delicious bowl of Grenadian well blended callaloo or pumpkin soup with small bits of tannia, bluggo or even sweet potatoes and corn dumplings?

Can we at least try to brand our food, like Jamaica has successfully done in pushing their roast yam and escovitch fish, akee and salt fish? A research has shown that the fish dish was introduced to Jamaica by the Spaniards when they roamed this side of the earth way back in history; but having great respect for heritage, the Jamaicans have preserved it up to today. The akee tree is said to have come from West Africa most likely during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. How many of our children know the story of breadfruit coming to our shores and making its way in our national dish? And do they actually eat it at home?

People, we have work to do! The country is going astray in a quiet, subtle way from what we used to know as local. Someone has recently pointed out that a prominent part of our culture is being a copycat of anything foreign. We stray from our root and copy language, speech, dress and cuisine; and don’t some of us refer to things that were traditional as “old school”? Imagine it takes a foreign owned restaurant to introduce an evening of local foods. Never mind the name sounds little bit degrading, many people enjoy an evening of “street food” while they reminisce on granny days with Johnny bakes and cocoa tea. Even Trinidad’s shark and bakes are creeping in and taking up residence here.

Our 50th year of Independence should most certainly be a time of dissecting and finding ourselves. The recipe book, which was produced by the Home-makers Association, the Grenada comic book and other short stories on Grenada were tools used by Sir Eric to create a sense of patriotism from 1974. We are aware that the Revolution removed them from any form of prominence in its quest to disrespect the work of the GULP. But there are still a few copies around that can be revisited and introduced to the young people. That maybe a good motivation for them to come up with their own ideas, using modern technology to create home-grown interest in Grenada and its dependencies.

How many names of villages in Carriacou and Petite Martinique we on the mainland are familiar with?

And how many of us know that there’s a part of Carriacou that belongs to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?

As we sing “Grenada belongs to we” let’s mean it!

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