CONGRATULATIONS to all of the primary and secondary school students who participated in the junior Panorama competition over the weekend. The talent, verve, and enthusiasm displayed served as a fitting curtain-raiser for the final big week of Carnival 2019.
The junior Panorama reminded us that notwithstanding concerns about its international reach, the greatest show on earth would appear to be in good hands. As long as we properly showcase, develop and market our local talent, perhaps Carnival can be taken further. In this regard, we endorse the sentiments expressed by Education Minister Anthony Garcia at the weekend’s event.
“We must hold steadfast in our desire to ensure that the pan, which is indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago, remains ours,” Garcia said. “We are prepared to share out talent with other countries, but we must ensure that it remains ours.”
The success of the junior Panorama was no doubt due to the work of the students, teachers and the various arms of the ministry, as well as Pan Trinbago, and the many stakeholders that had a role to play.
Over the weekend spectators were also treated to the Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival. Despite a late start, the event saw a smooth and rapid show of almost 300 individuals and bands over the Queen’s Park Savannah stage in Port of Spain. The mas was not only colourful, it was also relevant. Youths danced to a range of environmental and historical themes. It was hopefully a preview of things to come, not just from the adults next week, but also down the road as the baton is passed.
All of it is encouraging at a time when economic realities have loomed large over the festival. And it was also a positive counterpoint to some of the messier adult conflicts that have already marred this year’s celebrations.
We are relieved the issue of whether a steelband can change its tune for the Panorama finals has been resolved. Pan Trinbago’s decision to abide by the ruling of the High Court in the case brought by Exodus is welcomed. In the end, the band has exercised its right to seek redress and had received clarification from the court, a move that is laudable, even if things should not have come to that.
Calypso Fiesta, too, was another forum where there were positives. Here too there were signs of a younger generation taking up the baton, with some veteran names such as Chalkdust and the Mighty Trini not advancing.
As we embark on the final stretch, we urge all to do what they can to stay safe. People should exercise caution and access the resources available to them to do so. Let us celebrate our youngsters in a spirit of joy with an eye to the future. There will come a time when all who are this year in the junior categories will not be junior anymore.