A Guyanese Christmas – By Cheryl Springer

A Guyanese Christmas

By Cheryl Springer – On December 11, 2015 – Stabroek News – Lifestyle

Black cake at Christmas

Every year, hundreds of Guyanese living in the Diaspora begin packing barrels and boxes to post ‘home’, some as early as June/July. In many cases it’s because they’re spending Christmas in Guyana and want to share more than they can carry in the token one or two suitcases they’re allowed on most flights.

But every year, hundreds more can only reminisce on the Guyanese Christmases of their childhoods or recent pasts. Four Guyanese living in Bristol, United Kingdom; Houston, Texas and Kentucky in the US and Tortola, BVI tell Lifestyle what they miss about Christmas ‘back home’. A recurring theme is ‘I’ve been away too long.’ Perhaps this reliving of the memories will turn their feet toward these shores.  

Read more –  A Guyanese Christmas – By Cheryl Springer 

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  • Norman Tewarie  On 01/27/2016 at 10:22 am

    Well done, but here’s my version of 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 25 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 fairy-like 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
    Then you’ve 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, hot-dogs 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
    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 calypsos, 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
    It is rumoured that when Sir Walter Raleigh came
    The Arawaks cooked the llaba their finest game
    Raleigh licked his fingers and sucked that llaba dry
    Since then all the visitors who had a taste knew why
    Guyanese foods are so homelike and cooked with love
    Even if its the Canje Pheasant or simple ground dove
    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

    Check out my latest book;DRINK FROM MY CALABASH’

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