Amerindian Affairs Minister says Heritage Month successful
Guyana Chronicle
October 9, 2002

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AMERINDIAN Affairs Minister, Ms. Carolyn Rodrigues has said that the just concluded programme of celebrations to mark the observance of Amerindian Heritage Month was a major success.

"We had all that we planned...we made it a reality," she said in an interview with members of the media at her office last week.

One of the high points, according to her, was the series of football matches between teams of the hinterland regions and Georgetown.

"We saw that they are just as good or even better," she said.

As a result of the major impact on the national football team, the minister said that her ministry will be working with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to promote hinterland football matches more frequently and not only during September.

The cultural extravaganza, which was held at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, was also successful.

Rodrigues said that despite the state of affairs in the country and the fact of people not wanting to come out, they supported the event, which primarily showcased Amerindian culture in music, songs and dances, among other events.

"We were expecting more people, the circumstances we had a lot and we did not compromise with the quality of the show, despite whatever setbacks the organisers faced," she said.

This event though poorly attended, was a great treat to those who were there.

According to Rodrigues, some of the artistes from the various regions will be representing Guyana at the next Carifesta (Caribbean Festival of Arts).

Rodrigues said that her ministry would be working towards an improved month of activities, so that the regions would be given more publicity in their celebrations.

In this regard, she said, they would work with the regions so that their events do not clash with the activities on the national programme.

Also, she said, for next year's celebrations emphasis would be placed on diversification. This means that not only would craft and art come from the various regions, but there would also be other products from Amerindian communities.

The minister said that the quality of craft exhibitions this year was better and the sales were higher.

Asked about her thoughts on September 10 becoming a national holiday, she said that some of the communities have some strong arguments for this development.

However, Rodrigues said, she does not think it is fair to add another holiday to the list since there is already a significant number of national holidays. (Government Information Agency -- GINA)