HOW I REMEMBER CHRISTMAS IN GUYANA

Received from one of our readers…. maybe you can add your comments as to how you remembered Christmas in years past…

HOW I REMEMBER CHRISTMAS IN GUYANA

I remember Christmas was

The season when Santa came

But somehow today it’s different

The spirit is not the same

 

As soon as school was closed

There was excitement in the air

You heard the carols playing

And knew the time was near

 

The streets were getting busy

With people shopping around

And masquerades were flouncing

All about the town

 

You sensed that festive thrill

With your home in disarray

Being cleaned from top to bottom

To sparkle on Christmas day

 

I loved those special smells

Of new linoleum on the floor

And fresh paint and varnish

And new curtains from the store

 

You felt the Christmas weather

And somehow you could tell

When those dull and drizzly days

Gave off that Christmas smell

 

But you would only know for sure

That Christmas was almost there

When the garlic pork was made

And the sorrel and ginger beer

 

And the house was full of flavours

When mom began to bake

That juicy clove spiced ham

And lots of good black cake

 

And finally on Christmas Eve

When the Christmas tree was light

Our home transformed itself

Into such a magical sight

 

With small change in my pocket

And my cap guns in my hand

I strolled along Camp Street

Eating nuts and apples and

 

“Carbon tins” are firing

And guns are popping loud

And last minute shoppers

Are hustling among the crowd

 

Carol singers are singing

And people are having fun

And I am sad but tired

When the night is almost done

 

But the greatest thrill of all

That final mystical event

When I hung my pillow case

And off to sleep I went

 

And early on Christmas morning

The first thing I rushed to see

Were all those wonderful toys

That Santa had brought for me

 

Then pepper pot and pickled onions

Walnuts and Quality Street

With that sumptuous Christmas dinner

We all sat down to eat

 

I always remember Christmas day

How special it was for me

My world was filled with joy

And peace and harmony

 

I know these special memories

Will remain for some years yet

That’s how I remember Christmas

And I just cannot forget.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On December 25, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Blessed are we who have such wonderful memories of Christmas growing up in Guyana!

    Thank you, dear poet, for expressing it so well.

  • faye Henry  On December 27, 2010 at 1:13 am

    i am in a awe that someone can demonstrate the ideal effects of christmas, i need to go home right now

  • Naraine Datt  On December 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    A GUYANESE XMAS

    When I look back on my life
    Before I had my loving wife
    I remember from my childhood file
    The good old Xmas Guyanese style
    Long before Xmas December 25th would come
    My village was astir be you foe or either chum
    Folks preparing the home with drapes and blinds
    And the Xmas cake by grinding fruits of all kinds

    Whoever had the oven firing it up with care
    As friends and neighbours go over to share
    Before December 25th with the sweet aroma
    Every mother waiting in line up with her quota
    With buckets of mixed cakes ready
    That’s where would be the activity
    With the women gossiping
    And kids and pets frolicking
    A fairylike atmosphere is taken on
    With happy banter by everyone
    And setting the cool ginger beer
    Was done by an elder with care

    What a blessed country with some of the best fruits
    Maybe it’s the silt of the rivers making good roots
    Most Guyanese have very good lungs
    Is it because of the sandy fine dungs
    Guyanese girls have the sweetest lips
    Is it because of the ripe juicy genips
    We don’t get cancer and have strong teeth
    Is it because of the sugar cane or laba meat
    No fruit can be compared with the sapodilla
    Star-apple, Buxton spice mango or the cowa
    Don’t get me started on ground provisions bhaya!
    The eddoes, tanias, the bell yams and the cassava
    All boiled with coconut milk and hassar and lil’ bhagee
    And you have a delicious meal for the gods called metagee

    A Guyanese Christmas is unique for sure
    Can never be understood by a NA culture
    Of hamburger, hotdogs and some spaghetti
    As I eating my dholl puri and mutton curry
    Our six peoples each have a tasty dish
    Some still enjoy foo foo and salt fish
    And from waterside to the sand reef
    Our Muslim brothers prefer their beef
    And from Corentyne or Buxton
    The Hindus mostly eat mutton
    During this time the air is filled with jukeboxes
    To describe it there aren’t any modern phrases
    Blasting of melodious Indian songs and chatney
    From a people known for their fine hospitality

    There is no good or proper real Christmas over here
    Without a piece of fruitcake and a glass of ginger beer
    Here there there’s so much stupid eye pass
    Some don’t want you to say merry Xmas
    The faiths are so afraid to connect
    Cause you’ve to be politically correct
    Keep your fake Xmas tree and darn snow
    Shoveling your snow only make me blow
    One day one day I hope in my lifetime alas!
    Yes I still can have my old Guyanese Xmas

    AND YOU HAVE A NICE XMAS TOO!

  • Peter Halder  On December 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Let us enjoy through the coming year

    QUIETNESS of mind

    So that we are not quick to ANGER.

    Let us all practice PATIENCE

    Especially when things are not going our way.

    Let us be our friend and family’s HELPER

    Through the smooth and rough TIMES.

    Let us be CHARITABLE and KIND

    HELPING each other and the needy along the way.

    Let us have REASSURANCE in ourselves and our ability.

    Let our FAITH in GOD and each other remain unshaken.

    Grasp steadfastly on HOPE and COURAGE

    To OVERCOME the storms of life.

    Let us be imbued with PEACE, LOVE and JOY

    Throughout the New Year and beyond.

    Dream DREAMS no matter what age

    But be careful to match them with REALITY.

    Above all, be HEALTHY and enjoy GOOD FORTUNE.

    HAPPY, HAPPY and BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!

    —Peter Halder

  • Lionel  On December 31, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Whosoever wrote this poem did a wonderful job of telling what Christmas was all about in the old days when we were boys.

  • S.Chandra Naraine  On December 31, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    The essence of such a joyous occasion has been accurately captured and expressed in this poem. It brought back such wonderful memories and nostalgia of a simpler time in my life…our lives, as it were…and caused me to shed some tears for the bitter-sweet recollections of a distant existence. Kudos to its composer and my sincerest gratitude for sharing this jewel with us.

  • Dennis Moonsammy  On January 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    The fond memories of Christmas in Guyana will forever be cherished. It was truly a season of good cheer, peace and goodwill towards men not only because it was the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ but more especially it was about the festivities and fun associated with Christmas as a child. Apart from the garlic pork, pepperpot, ginger beer, and sweet smelling cake just from the oven, I can vividly recall the famous masquerade bands with “mother sally”,” daddy long legs” and also the talented steel bands (Quo Vadis, Invaders et all) with their followers tramping rhythmically to the captivating sounds of the pans.
    This joyful experience of a Guyana Christmas makes it special and unique in many respects.
    HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR

  • roxanne  On January 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    CHRISTMAS AT ST. ROSES.

    I remember carol singing
    As a St. Roses’ school girl.
    We met after school and off we went
    On the back of a truck, the nuns would rent.

    From area to area, we sang our hearts out
    Excited that Christmas was coming,
    But more excited that we were out and about
    Making the poor “sisters” jump up and shout.

    And when it was all done, on the steps of
    the St George’s Cathedral we would gather
    And as the clock went, tick, tock, tick, tock…
    Out would come the Little Drummer Boy – Elvis Alicock.
    We would all exclaim how cute he was and sing even louder, til the place would rock.,

    (Remember, St Roses old girls?
    those were the days of Mr. Aaron, Sister Margaret, Sister Christopher, Sister Albun).
    Elvis Alicock was Dawn AlicocK’s brother.)

    • Desiree  On March 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Roxanne…….My name is Desiree Branford, I reside in CA, USA. Elvis Alicock was my half brother. I am assuming fromyour post he is deceased! have you got any information on Dawn? I would like to connect……Thanks

      • Elvis  On November 30, 2018 at 7:32 am

        Is this Roxanne Armstrong? Not too long ago, Dawn and I were discussing the old days and we were wondering how you are doing. What is the best way to contact you?

        Hi Desiree, as far as I know I am alive or maybe living a dream 😊 What is the best way to contact you?

  • Naraine Datt  On January 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    XMAS IN GUYANA-IN MY VILLAGE

    A GUYANESE XMAS

    When I look back on my life
    Before I had my loving wife
    I remember from my childhood file
    The good old Xmas Guyanese style
    Long before Xmas December 25th would come
    My village was astir be you foe or either chum
    Folks preparing the home with drapes and blinds
    And the Xmas cake by grinding fruits of all kinds

    Whoever had the oven firing it up with care
    As friends and neighbours go over to share
    Before December 25th with the sweet aroma
    Every mother waiting in line up with her quota
    With buckets of mixed cakes ready
    That’s where would be the activity
    With the women gossiping
    And kids and pets frolicking
    A fairlike atmosphere is taken on
    With happy banter by everyone
    And setting the cool jinger beer
    Was done by an elder with care

    What a blessed country with some of the best fruits
    Maybe it’s the silt of the rivers making good roots
    Most Guyanese have very good lungs
    Is it because of the sandy fine dungs
    Guyanese girls have the sweetest lips
    Is it because of the ripe juicy genips
    We don’t get cancer and have strong teeth
    Is it because of the sugar cane or laba meat
    No fruit can be compared with the sapodilla
    Star-apple, Buxton spice mango or the cowa
    Don’t get me started on ground provisions bhaya!
    The eddoes, tanias, the bell yams and the cassava
    All boiled with coconut milk and hassar and lil’ bhagee
    And you have a delicious meal for the gods called metagee

    A Guyanese Christmas is unique for sure
    Can never be understood by a NA culture
    Of hamburger, hotdogs and some spaghetti
    As I eating my dholl puri and mutton curry
    Our six peoples each have a tasty dish
    Some still enjoy foo foo and salt fish
    And from waterside to the sand reef
    Our Muslim brothers prefer their beef
    And from Corentyne or Buxton
    The Hindus mostly eat mutton
    During this time the air is filled with jukeboxes
    To describe it there aren’t any modern phrases
    Blasting of melodious Indian songs and chatney
    From a people known for their fine hospitality

    There is no good or proper real Christmas over here
    Without a piece of fruitcake and a glass of ginger beer
    Here there there’s so much stupid eye pass
    Some don’t want you to say merry Xmas
    The faiths are so afraid to connect
    Cause you’ve to be politically correct
    Keep your fake Xmas tree and darn snow
    Shoveling your snow only makes me blow
    One day! one day! I hope in my lifetime alas!
    Yes! I still can have my old Guyanese Xmas

    HAVE A NICE GUYANESE DAY MAN!

  • pvanvield  On March 5, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I remember Camp street on christmas eve back in the days,and it was just as you describe it. But you forgot the toys in the windows that we claim as ours.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s