JIS News

Despite the economic and social challenges many Jamaicans are looking forward to the Emancipation and Independence festivities, where the nation pays homage to the ancestors and pioneers and celebrates the country’s rich heritage and culture.
Among them is young Jhenelle Clarke from Montego Bay, St. James, who says that she is looking forward to the spirit of togetherness that the period brings.
“Independence is about a nation being brought together in peace and harmony and love for everyone,” she told JIS News.
In the meantime, Christopher Campbell, also from Montego Bay, is urging Jamaicans to use the strength of character and determination of our fore parents, as the inspiration for success.
“When we look back at the tremendous struggles of our ancestors and how they came out of these harsh situations, I believe that no ordinary person could have achieved this without that exceptional physical and mental toughness and determination that they possessed.
“They have truly passed on that indomitable spirit to us and so, when I think of the whole slavery experience of the past, I draw strength from it. To think that, that’s the kind of stock that I and all Jamaicans have come from; truly a stock of people that were mentally and physically tough,” Christopher told JIS News.
“I believe that with this same mental and physical power, there is nothing that we cannot achieve or attain,” he stated.
He noted that while the country has a far way to go, “I look to the future with great hope, and encourage my fellow Jamaicans to do likewise.”
Jamaica is observing 171 years of Emancipation and the 47th anniversary of Independence this year under the theme: ‘I Believe in Jamaica’.
Festivities got underway on July 30 with Mello-go-Roun’ at the National Arena in Kingston, showcasing the best of the performing arts, and continued with the National Emancipation Vigil in Spanish Town Square, St. Catherine on July 31 at 10:00 p.m. and Emancipation Jubilee at Seville, St. Ann.
The activities continue on August 5 with the National Emancipation/Independence Forum at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library at 10:00 a.m., and will culminate with gala events on Independence Day, August 6.
These will include: the Independence float parade on the streets of the Corporate Area, beginning at 10:00 a.m., the Grand Gala at the National Stadium at 4:00 p.m., a street dance in Half Way Tree at 8:00 p.m., along with street dances in towns and communities islandwide.
A flag raising ceremony in Sam Sharpe Square and a Gala on the waterfront, will highlight activities in Montego Bay.

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