Guyanese must challenge cultural elitism

Stabroek News
August 14, 2001

Dear Editor,

I congratulate Mr. Ravi Dev, ROAR MP, for his excellent defence of local/ethnic culture in his letter [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] captioned "My objection is to the concept of one overarching culture" (l2.8.200l). In reading the Stabroek News this past weekend, readers observed that we celebrated a Miss African Guyanese Heritage Pageant and at the same time we ushered in the Etauchingpang Amerindian two day festival. In churches, mosques and mandirs across Guyana, people took time out of the weekend to celebrate their uniqueness.

I am disappointed that some people in Guyana would advocate that we abandon our heritage for the creation of a false nationality, built by cultural-elitists, political correctness and UN bureaucrats. Guyanese are influenced by a number of cultures. We should not be encouraged to hide from or check our uniqueness at our door when we leave our home in the morning.

The European Union has tried this idea of 'one nation' and it was strongly rebuffed by member states. Everywhere in the world governments have tried to 'civilize' ethnic groups, by stomping out people's strong bonds to their ancestors and heritage, and everywhere they have failed, including in Russia.

No one in Guyana should have to live in shame of their religion, their native foods, or their cultural dress. These are things to be celebrated and Mr. Dev and ROAR should be congratulated for standing up for all who wish to live in this country, and remain proud of their special cultural influences which makes them

good human beings and proud Guyanese.

Yours faithfully,
Nandine Persaud