Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mashin with Pride, Keepin We Traditions Alive!

On February 2nd, Nate and I celebrated Children’s Mash. Mash, which is short for Mashramani, is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic in 1970. The festival, usually held on 23 February – Guyanese Republic Day – includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the "Birth of the Republic". The word "Mashramani" is an Amerindian word which means "the celebration of a job well done". It is probably the most colourful of all the country's festivals. There are spectacular costume competitions, float parades, masquerade bands, and dancing in the streets to the accompaniment of steel drum music and calypsos.

In our village there are two versions of Mash, children’s mash and adult mash. Children’s mash occurs early in the month and all the schools in the region compete in five categories which are Calypso, Dramatic Poetry, Dance, Physical Display, and Costume. It’s a day-long competition and the first place of each category goes on to compete in the country-wide competition later in the month. Nate and I not only were able to attend children’s mash, but we were asked to judge two categories each.

The Judges Table

Nate was a judge for Calypso, which is original song-writing and singing, and Physical Display, which is gymnastics. Impressive gymnastics! Your heart skips at least a few times in each routine, since there are no mats or any sort of protection and these kids get really high in their pyramids.

Calypso Competition

Physical Display

I judged Dance and Dramatic Poetry, which I think next to seeing the awesome costumes these schools put together with just glitter, wire and paper, dramatic poetry was my favourite. The theme of this year’s Mash is “Mashin with Pride, Keepin We Traditions Alive.”

Dramatic Poetry

Adult mash will occur at the end of the month (it’s a wee bit more colourful…wink…wink) and Nate and I are hoping to participate in our respective departments float….and yes we will both be decked out in glitter!

All the Awesome Costumes!

Till next time.

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