Daily Archives: March 8, 2015

Brazil – Preparing My Sons for Our Move to the USA

From the Rosaliene Bacchus Blog.

Three Worlds One Vision

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe - Book CoverThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Book Cover

After mailing my divorce papers to my mother in the United States, five years went by before I heard from her attorney that the application for permanent residence for me and my two sons were finally being processed. On the chance that our application might be approved, I began preparing my sons, then sixteen and eighteen years old, for life in an English-speaking country.

Ten years earlier, after their father left Brazil to return to Guyana, my sons had stopped speaking English. To ensure that they did not forget the English language, I continued to speak to them in English. Later, when they started high school, it helped that English was part of their school’s curriculum. They both excelled in English grammar and vocabulary.

To get them to practice speaking in English without making it an onerous activity, I set…

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Rudolph Dunbar – A Musician for the Ages – by Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Rudolph Dunbar – A Musician for the Ages

by Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Rudolph Dunbar

Rudolph Dunbar

One day someone will make a movie about Rudolph Dunbar.

The year was 1945 and Hitler and his troops were recently defeated after invading Europe. Berlin was the seat of Nazi culture but the Philharmonic Orchestra was led by a black conductor. He was a war correspondent for the United States but it was the baton that took him to the realm of the Gods. This conductor was a Guyanese who bestrode the musical world like a giant. Rudolph Dunbar mesmerized the 2000 Berliners in the audience. They applauded rapturously as he took them through the works of Weber’s Oberon and Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique. Rudolph Dunbar was given five standing ovations.

During the performance Dunbar did the unthinkable. He introduced music from the Afro-American symphony to the delight of the audience. On that evening Rudolph Dunbar created history. He had become Berlin’s first black conductor.  Continue reading

Female Musical Trailblazers: The first “All Girls Steel Bands” of Guyana* – By Lear Matthews

A women’s History Month Tribute

Female Musical Trailblazers: The first “All Girls Steel Bands” of Guyana*

By Lear Matthews

It was the early 1950’s. Guyana, then British Guiana, like many other Caribbean countries was in the initial stages of struggle to shed the yoke of colonialism, epitomized by the first national, multiethnic political party.  The dawning of “Massa Day Done”!

As with the political scene, “beating pan” was a male-dominated activity.  But despite normative cultural credence and challenges faced by women, pioneering genius was afoot. The phenomenon of a female steel orchestra was emerging.  Steel band was viewed as a lower class musical form, practiced by urban folk from economically deprived communities – “Dem Bad boys” from Albouystown and Lodge (although the majority of residents from those neighborhoods were decent, law abiding and productive).  Initially, steel band playing was not considered socially accepted as a legitimate genre of entertainment, thus deemed unworthy of invitation to perform at “prestigious venues” such as the Town Hall in Georgetown.   Continue reading

Guyana: Phagwah Celebrated at National Stadium and Indian Cultural Centre

Phagwah Festival… Riot of colours transform National Stadium

Phagwah 2015

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March 7, 2015 | KNEWS|  By Rabindra Rooplall

Thousands welcomed the “festival of colours” yesterday at the National Stadium Providence, East Bank Demerara, with a riot of colours to celebrate the annual Phagwah festival.

The ancient Hindu Festival of Holi, which heralds the end of winter and the victory of good over evil, is marked with a national holiday and sees revelers pouring onto the streets ending up at the National Stadium for an event hosted under Inspire Inc in collaboration with Hindus United for Guyana (HUG). Continue reading