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  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has called on Jamaicans to come out and enjoy themselves at this year’s Emancipation and Independence celebratory activities, even as they reflect on the nation’s many achievements.
  • She was speaking at the National Emancipation and Independence Thanksgiving Church Service, held on Sunday, July 26, at the St. Jago De La Vega Cathedral, 1 Barrett Street in Spanish Town.
  • The church service was the first in a series of Emancipation and Independence events to be staged from Friday, July 31 to Thursday, August 6 islandwide, under the theme: ‘Proud and Free…Jamaica 53’.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has called on Jamaicans to come out and enjoy themselves at this year’s Emancipation and Independence celebratory activities, even as they reflect on the nation’s many achievements.

“We must celebrate and no one must make us feel apologetic for enjoying ourselves, because we have a lot to celebrate this year. There is nothing wrong with celebrating. There are times when we must de-stress. There are times when we must reflect,” the Minister said.

She was speaking at the National Emancipation and Independence Thanksgiving Church Service, held on Sunday, July 26, at the St. Jago De La Vega Cathedral, 1 Barrett Street in Spanish Town.

The church service was the first in a series of Emancipation and Independence events to be staged from Friday, July 31 to Thursday, August 6 islandwide, under the theme:  ‘Proud and Free…Jamaica 53’.

The Minister cited some of the many achievements to celebrate, such as the recent inscription of the Blue and John Crow Mountains on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the efforts by Government to reduce the country’s debt; and the introduction of a nutrition programme in all basic schools by the Ministry of Education.

“Just in the same way you save to put on your family reunion once a year or you save in your community to put on an event …as a Government we save every year to celebrate, so that you can enjoy yourselves and feel special,” she said.

The Minister pointed out  that several  activities have been organised to commemorate the annual Festival celebrations.

“You can go to the literary festival, you can come to the Gala, you can look at the Mello-Go-roun, you can come to Gospel Song and there are other things in your communities that you can do, but you must come out,” she urged.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that you must not celebrate Emancipation. Don’t let anybody tell you that you must not celebrate Independence. We are a proud and free country. We are a resilient people, so put on your denim and put on your bandana and catch the Festival ‘riddim’,” the Minister added.