Jamaica’s Cultural Diversity on Show During Heritage Week


The cultural diversity of Jamaicans will be the focus of this year’s Heritage Week, which will be celebrated from Sunday, October 12 to Sunday, October 19.
Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Marcia Hextall, said homage would be paid to the cuisine of Jamaica’s varying ethnic groups as well as their different cultural dress.
Addressing the weekly Think Tank session at JIS, the JCDC Executive Director informed the gathering that this year’s Heritage Week theme is ‘Embracing Our Heritage, Out Of Many One People’.
Reflecting on the theme, Miss Hextall said that the influence of ethnic cultures such as Indian, Chinese, African, and European, would be given their due recognition “for their collective social and cultural impact in making Jamaica’s identity that more unique”.The week will be marked by the staging of three major national programmes.
The inaugural event will be a church service at the Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre on Sunday, October 12, while a floral tribute will be held at the National Heroes Park the following Sunday, October 19. The celebrations will culminate on Heroes Day, Monday, October 20, with a cultural fair dubbed ‘Heritagefest’ at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.
She explained, “Heritagefest is a display of all the cultures that make up the Jamaican culture.” The JCDC Executive Director said that an entertainment programme would run throughout the course of the day at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, with an array of ethnic food scheduled to be on sale. In addition, patrons will be treated to a fashion show that Miss Hextall said, “will feature different fashions associated with different groups.” The curtains will come down on Heritagefest with a concert that will have items that are representative of the different cultures.
Miss Hextall noted that her agency has sought the participation of several embassies and high commissions to assist in the Heritagefest venture. Another component of the JCDC’s undertaking of Heritage Week is the expansion of the celebrations at a parish level.
As such, Miss Hextall told JIS News that the JCDC “was looking towards increased local activity around the island.”
According to her, the islandwide celebrations would see each parish hosting church services and other cultural events.

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