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deCartetret College, Mandeville, marked Jamaica Day celebrations on Friday(Feb. 20) with music, dance, songs, speech and drama, depicting various aspects of the Jamaican culture.
“We had our cultural expressions, as we do every year, to celebrate the theme. So we focused on names, some of the names of the students and what they mean, and encouraged them to honour them by displaying the positive attributes and qualities of the name they bear,” said cultural agent at the school, Kerry Anna Leslie.
Jamaica Day’s theme this year was: “Celebrating Jamaica, Honouring The Name I Bear”.
She said that it is important for students to understand that the Jamaican culture is not just about modern forms, but also about the traditional aspects.
“The items that we performed were varied and covered a wide cross section of Jamaica’s culture, so that the students could learn all the different areas in dance, speech and music,” she explained.
The students performed traditional, as well as modern and contemporary dances, traditional drumming, traditional songs, reggae music and songs, recited poems written by culture icon, Louise Bennett and dramatised aspects of our modern culture.
Denisa Daley, a sixth form student at the school, regards Jamaica Day as very important to Jamaica’s cultural identity, in terms of encouraging interaction and sharing of diverse cultural forms.
She performed a dance piece to popular reggae artiste, Tarrus Riley’s “Can’t Touch a Lion’s Paw”.
“I felt good performing this piece, because it highlights that, as a nation, we can’t stay down. We have to stand up and fight, united together,” she said.
The aim of Jamaica Day celebrations is to develop pride in country, promote responsible citizenship and create an awareness of the history and heritage of Jamaica among students.