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Between June 24th and July, 5th Vincentians celebrate their annual festival known as vincy mas or carnival; such has been derived from its African roots according to history books. But it would appear that we have truly missed the mark as to where we as a people and culture is heading.
It’s sad to see that a great percentage of our youths hold a bottle of beer or rum before the age of 18.From heritage square to Victoria Park, a culture of alcohol has consumed the very fiber of the nation’s future.
It was not surprising to hear the top songs in this year’s soca and ragga soca competition promoting the rum culture, Highly celebrated and taking top positions, not because of the Judges incline to alcohol, but because of the support these songs garnered from the Vincentian public.
How did this rum culture take foothold in our society, it was sad for me as a returning national to see youngsters, not only young men but young women, future mothers, and wives take their bed on the street corners, the foul language following every other word, sends a clear and present danger that our society my beloved country is heading down the wrong path.
Music videos for this carnival season advertise rum as something good to be consumed without consequences, alcohol not broken down by the liver goes to the rest of the body, including the brain. Alcohol can affect parts of the brain that control movement, speech, judgment, and memory. These effects lead to the familiar signs of drunkenness: difficulty walking, slurred speech, memory lapses, and impulsive behavior.
If our carnival is all rum maybe we should allow the owners of St Vincent distillers to hold a national festival from June 24th – July 5th, forget costumes and pan music, am sure more revenue would be generated from such a festival, while the police deal with more crimes which are already out of control.
I am calling on the CDC to make a clear distinction between what is culture and a rum fest.
Music that promotes drinking liquor as if its water, cannot be what our culture promotes, we must do better for future generations.