Understanding Culture is the essence of understanding people!

Understanding Culture is the essence of understanding people!

Growing up in Guyana gave me the benefit of exposure to a multitude of different cultures, religions and ethnicities. While, by no means, am I saying that by growing up in Guyana that makes me an expert in 'Culture', but what it did do is give me the opportunity to live, breath, play and truly experience different cultures on a daily basis and that was truly priceless.

Each country across the Caribbean may have their independent cultures that differentiates us as different Nationalities, but when it comes to certain celebrations, we can put aside our minor differences and celebrate as one Caribbean.

The more I interact across citizen of different Nationalities, the more I realize that the foundation of most cultural, spiritual, religious or even National celebrations is freedom, family, food and faith. If you think about it, which major celebration is not about those 4 'F's - Freedom, Family, Food and Faith?

Freedom; what does it mean?

• Freedom is the power to do what you want to do, the ability to move or act freely

• Freedom of choice

Family; what does it mean?

• A group of people related to each other

• Being in a group of people (could be friends) who love each other unconditionally, who will stand by each other through thick and thin and protect one another no matter what.

Food; what does it mean?

• Material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy.

• The sustenance of life

Faith; what does it mean?

• Strong belief or trust in someone or something

• Firm belief in something for which there is no proof

For everyone the above words, or even the definitions, will have different means but should be along the same principles.

Freedom in our daily lives serve us all differently, however, the way we use our freedom, as individuals, will and should always be our choice. In culture it's your freedom to celebrate to the fullest of your satisfaction, with consideration of the impact on others.

Family is by definition, from the Urban dictionary, perfectly expressed - Being in a group of people (could be friends) who love each other unconditionally, who will stand by each other through thick and thin and protect one another no matter what.

Food is what feeds you and sustains you, now this is the interesting part, "sustains you"!!! What gives you sustenance is not always considered food. Does certain aspects of your culture give you sustenance? Absolutely. If music, song, sunshine, prayer, dancing, making love, sex, exercising, reading....whatever gives you that personal feeling of satisfaction, of sustenance, that is your food for the soul.

Culture is a celebration of 'Freedom', 'Family', 'Food' and 'Faith'. Let's now put it all in perspective -Carnival is part of our culture, which is celebrated across the Caribbean, across South America and even across the World. Carnival gives revelers and attendees a platform to express their personal freedom to wear what they want to wear, to dance the way they want to dance, to eat what the want to eat, to drink what the want to drink and do all this with the people they consider family and friends. It is every ones personal 'Right' to celebrate their culture with the Freedom of choice to be with their Family and friends, showcasing their individual faith or beliefs and consuming whatever they consider 'Food' that sustains their soul, heart and body.

I look forward to the day when all people of the World can come together and celebrate their individual cultures with the Freedom and understanding that EVERY person has the right to celebrate the 4 'F's' together with no judgment, restrictions, inhabitations or hesitations - Maybe Fusion Fest has that potential!!!

Category: Editorials


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