As we celebrated emancipation this year, we heard the commercials, saw the advertisements, and heard the exciting talk. But with our modern-day celebrations, we have to ask, “What have we come to?”
We brag about our ancestors, which is a good thing for those of us who know what ancestry is all about. We also see the small and humble groups with their pretty smiles and floral outfits doing their performances every year. But we can’t help noticing that they are becoming smaller and less interesting.
Our ancestors would not like to know that we are arguing over how money should be spent. Meanwhile, some revelers, who look like they come from another planet, appear to be a new breed of people who do not understand the culture and have taken the celebrations to a new low.
The downfall can be blamed on those who have the authority to control and maintain our heritage. Instead, they jig along and talk to the press like everything is perfect, and they have the world of love for it.
Over the years, they have not listened to the creativity and knowledge of the people for their input. The same ones who proclaim perseverance decide who should partake in the activities. Our heritage has become a showpiece for self-satisfaction.
To continue the path of Virgin Islands heritage, we must put in place supportive people who can foresee where we want to be. We must be disciplined and be able to take corrections and ideas from the citizens of these islands.
Our younger generation must be able to continue knowing what is right. Every year, too many “know-it-alls” are causing disruptions. Who is bold enough to say, “This is the way we should dress and conduct ourselves”? It is heartbreaking to hear older folks talking about their disappointment every year.
Kudos to those who are still showing up and making a difference in all the activities by highlighting our August Emancipation Festival, preparing local goodies to eat, and organising traditional games, speeches and dancing. Our heritage starts from the heart and projects from the soul.