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As part of celebrations marking Jamaica Day 2013, the Ministries of Youth and Culture, and Education have launched an initiative dubbed: ‘Jamaica Sings – Spirit of Jamaica’, in an effort to further encourage Jamaicans to take pride in the creative aspects of the nation’s culture.

Under the ‘Jamaica Sings’ initiative,  Jamaicans from all walks of life are being urged to celebrate Jamaica Day 2013 on Friday, February 22, by wearing the national colours, eating Jamaican foods, and singing Jamaican songs.

Jamaica 50 Coordinator, Ministry of Education, Dr. Winsome Gordon, informed Friday’s (February 15) media launch of the event at Jamaica House that ‘Jamaica Sings’ “will be taking advantage of Jamaica Day to invite Jamaicans to sing and to celebrate their ‘Jamaicaness’.”

“Jamaica Sings is the Ministry of Education’s contribution to the 50th anniversary celebrations and we expect that it will become a legacy,” she said.

Dr. Gordon noted that ‘Jamaica Sings’ also aims to encourage the preservation of Jamaica’s rich cultural legacy.

“It’s a day when we will, in our own houses, have Jamaican foods, invite friends to come and visit us, reflect on some of the issues that we have and try to find positive things about us and try to find ways of helping ourselves as a people,” she stated.

Dr. Gordon also noted that as part of the day’s celebrations, Jamaicans are being asked pause whatever activities they are engaged in at 11:45 a.m. and sing Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’, as well as recite the words of the National Pledge, as a show of unity.

Members of the business and school communities are also being encouraged to host lunch hour or after school concerts. Additionally, members of the Church community are being encouraged to open their doors between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for praise and worship sessions.

“We are inviting all the churches in Jamaica… to sing songs of praises for the good things we have received from God and for the courage to go forward as a people,” she remarked.

For his part, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Culture, Sydney Bartley, said singing is an integral part of Jamaica’s cultural legacy, dating back to the days of slavery. He noted that this important legacy must be cherished, preserved and transmitted to the youths.

“There is a wrong impression that we only sing because we’re happy; but we sing in every situation. When we (are) washing, we (are) singing. When we (are) cleaning, we (are) singing… It is very true to say that one of the bases on which we survived slavery was through singing,” he remarked.

Jamaica Day 2013 will be celebrated under the theme ‘Celebrating Jamaica: I‘m On It’. The event is one of the flagship projects of the Culture in Education Programme and is intended to foster a greater spirit of patriotism and responsible citizenship.

It is also a day for all schools to engage with the communities in which they are located, and the nation, as a whole, to mount a big celebration of Jamaica around a specific theme.