JIS News

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  • Young people are being encouraged to preserve the Jamaican culture and heritage, especially in these times of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • This appeal came from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, during an address to declare open a virtual National Culture Clubs’ Conference, on Friday (March 26).
  • Representatives from over 130 culture clubs islandwide attended the event via Zoom and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) social media platforms. It was held under the theme: ‘Online Steppinz: Successfully Navigating Brand Jamaica Virtually’.

Young people are being encouraged to preserve the Jamaican culture and heritage, especially in these times of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This appeal came from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, during an address to declare open a virtual National Culture Clubs’ Conference, on Friday (March 26).

Representatives from over 130 culture clubs islandwide attended the event via Zoom and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) social media platforms. It was held under the theme: ‘Online Steppinz: Successfully Navigating Brand Jamaica Virtually’.

Ms. Grange said the conference, attended by students and cultural agents from across the island, was held virtually due to the restrictions to prevent the COVID-19 spread.

She said that the participation by delegates has demonstrated “that the challenges we face have not undermined the willingness to learn about, to discuss, to participate, to embrace and to preserve our culture and heritage.”

The Minister emphasised that culture is more than performance.

“It is our legacy and identity. It is also our great legacy that our ancestors bequeathed to us. It is a legacy of which we must continue to be proud,” she added.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, JCDC, Mexine Bisasor, said the main purpose of the culture clubs project is to raise awareness of young Jamaicans about the value of Jamaica’s culture.

“Let us celebrate and recognise the importance of preserving the Jamaican culture and heritage through the strong network of our culture clubs in schools and other community-based organisations across this island,” she said.

Ms. Bisasor commended the teachers for their commitment to the clubs.

“It is a great day in Jamaica when teachers can take time out of their busy schedule to show commitment to the necessary business of maintaining the culture of our island and ensure that it is passed on to you our young people,” she said.

The Chairman said Jamaicans must continue “to embrace our culture.”

“Let us reflect where we are and what we have done to get there. Let us engender a culture of love and oneness, a Jamaican culture,” she added.

She also congratulated the staff of the JCDC for their role in ensuring that the work of the agency continues, despite the pandemic.
For her part, Acting Executive Director of the JCDC, Marjorie Leydon Vernon, said the culture club project, which began in 2009, is part of efforts by the JCDC to further preserve Jamaica’s culture.

“We looked at bringing young people and the elderly together and in the form of a club and so we established the JCDC clubs,” she said, adding that membership has reached close to 500.

During the conference, there were presentations on various topics, including dance, culinary arts and music. There was also a performance by Reggae artiste, Wayne Marshall.

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