MINISTER of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell has announced that this year's National Patriotism Month will take on a new dimension as an online campaign with the primary objective of educating, entertaining and engaging audiences. The observance, which runs from late August to September 24 (Republic Day), is themed Celebrating Diversity.
In a release issued on Saturday the ministry said the events of 2020 have reiterated a need to revert to those core values, events, and achievements that stimulate patriotic pride in TT. The online campaign is intended to remind citizens and even the global diaspora of the never-ending “Trinbagonian love.”
Mitchell said he believed that TT, like most nations around the world, was searching for healing.
“Culture and the Arts are time-tested agents of upliftment, and we at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts are determined to elevate our country’s morale with a celebratory journey through our artistic heritage.
National Patriotism Month is aptly positioned from late August to September 24, capturing two of this country’s most significant historical observances – Independence Day and Republic Day. During this period in our calendar, our country is draped in the national colours and nation-building songs fill our airwaves. We remember why our ancestors fought for our freedom; our right to have a unique voice in this world. There is no better time to host a month of patriotic musings.”
The Culture Division of the ministry kicked off celebratory events with the first of four concerts titled 100 per cent Trini Pan, a virtual concert which aired on Independence Day as a tribute to the intersection of National Steelpan Month, Patriotism Month, and TT’s 58th Independence. The other three concerts, titled Soca, Calypso and Chutney Temperatures, Colours of Consciousness and Parang in September will be aired on September 11, 18 and 24 respectively.
The online campaign will also include recaps of various activities, including the Culture Division’s cultural camps, highlights of past mentors of the Mentoring by the Masters programme, performances by past music schools in the community, highlights of community festivals held for Carifesta 2019 and educational profiles of the various communities involved.
The division has also gone into its vault to relive past concerts including Live at Lunch performances, Pan on a Higher Note (2018) and Diamonds in the Sun (2015) by the national performing arts entities as well as several weekly throwbacks by these entities. Other cultural recaps will include virtual interviews conducted for the Division’s commemoration of Indian Arrival Day and Emancipation Day respectively, with a new interview highlighting the heritage of the Syrian/Lebanese community.
The ministry has also chosen to highlight cultural achievements coming out of the covid19 pandemic.
Mitchell said there would be three separate features celebrating how Trinbagonians have converted the pandemic into stories of redemption.
“Instead of evading it, we are confronting covid19 with an attitude of positivity by highlighting the creative outputs of our citizens. The division will feature short clips on how Trinbagonians showed love of country by sewing and donating face masks, how we used the extempo artform to drive critical public education messages, and of course, how we all engaged in social media 'culinary showdowns.' The performing entities will present an emotionally-charged piece called Lockdown Reflections, where members of the Theatre Arts Company reveal raw, honest perspectives on the pandemic.”
Tobago is also very much part of the celebrations, as the THA will present segments on Tobago’s rich cultural heritage and biodiversity on Mondays.
“From its unique heritage in music, dance, food and poetry to its serene ecology, the Tobago experience and perspectives on nationalism, complement that of Trinidad’s to make this twin island state an extraordinary place to call home.”
Citizens can follow the activities on the Culture Division’s Facebook and IG pages, @Culture Divistiontt, as well as the MTCA’s FB page.