More than 700 students at the Priory Primary School and Infant Department in St. Ann are now better aware of Jamaica’s heritage and culture as a result of a ‘Jamaica Day’ activity, which was recently held at the school.
The event saw members of staff and students participating in traditional dances, ring games, story telling, folk songs and jonkonnu parade as well as showcasing Jamaica’s culinary heritage.
“We realize that the students are doing well physically and academically but there is a great need for them to understand their culture and heritage and that is why the cultural committee here at the school decided to host such an event,” Principal, Beverly Black, told JIS News.
She pointed out that the students visited the Seville Heritage Park occasionally, to access information as part of the learning process. The Jamaica Day activity she noted, somewhat captured a part of the display at the Park through an artifact corner and students were expected to take note of the items on display.
“Our students will be tested to see how much they have learnt. They were told to collect all information about the food items on display, the various traditional dances as well as the artifacts,” she said.
Carmen Bowerbank, a teacher at the school, explained that the culinary displays included food items such as cornmeal pudding, mackerel run down (dip and fall back), ackee and saltfish, saltfish fritters, duckunoo (tie leaf) and fried fish with bammy, among other dishes.
“Most of our students have never tasted some of these things. An economical dish such as the mackerel run down has never been heard of by many of them and the duckunoo otherwise called the blue drawers or tie leaf is new to some of them as well,” she said.
Student, Ashley Thomas said that she benefited from the event as it had allowed her to develop an even greater level of respect for her country.
“One of the interesting facts about Jamaica is that we have gone through a lot of struggles to get to where we are today. Our heroes and heroine fought for us and they have made us proud,” she said, adding, “I have learnt a lot from our Jamaica Day activity at the school because I didn’t even know that there was something called a yabba pot that was used as a washbasin in the past or that the other name for a bottle torch was ‘kitchen bitch’ and I know these things now”.
Parent, Desreen Paisley stated that the event was well planned and that it was educational and informative. She commended the Principal and staff at the school for the work that they had done to help to mould the lives of young Jamaicans.