Thanks to Queenal Missick and team of Kew and Leeward Methodist Church
For years, we used to celebrate the second Monday of October as Columbus Day as we were taught that he discovered the “New World.’’ Due to all the controversies surrounding Christopher Columbus, many countries have removed Columbus Day from their calendars. In 2014, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government replaced Columbus Day with National Heritage Day.
I think this was a great move made by the Government so that we can set aside a month to keep our heritage and culture alive. The Turks and Caicos Islands is a melting pot of at least 100 different cultures. With all these cultures and the advancement of technology, and being outnumbered in our own country, our heritage and culture can easily become lost and sometimes discontinue and replace by other cultures.
Therefore, I want to use this article to highlight and thank Ms. Queenal Missick and her team of Kew North Caicos and the Committee members of Leeward Methodist Church in Providenciales Turks and Caicos for displaying and educating us about our culture on National Heritage Day.
One of the lessons we can learn from our heritage and culture is our humble beginnings where we had outside toilets, tooting water on our heads, cooking outside on coal stoves, using lamps and scrubbing boards. Today, some of us act as if what we have today, we always had it. I am grateful for my humble beginnings. Of course, we have advanced in that there is no need for some of the things we used to have but somehow, we need to pass the spirit of humbleness onto our generation.
The events in Kew showed how the people got together and helped one another. This is part of our culture. We need to help our neighbours and live as a community. There is too much tearing down and fighting. Some of us can help others but we still don’t help. Let’s keep our culture alive by coming together.
Make use of what you have and have fun.
We did not have much but whatever we had, we made use of it and had fun. We had the rake and scrape. We had so many folk songs. We danced and enjoyed life with the limited things we had. Today, many of us say we are bored and there is nothing to do but, in the past, our culture made us do something with the things we have.
Our local food and drinks
We need to maintain our local foods and drinks and pass the tradition on to our generation. It is a great way to distinguish us from others.
The events put on by the people of Kew and the Leeward Methodist Church signifies what can be accomplished if we can come together. Too many times we depend on Government for this and that, but the Committees of Kew and the Leeward Methodist Church volunteered their time and money to showcase the heritage of the Turks and Caicos.
No matter how much our country has progressed, we must maintain our heritage and culture. It is our heritage and culture that identify us as a people.
I think we should identify an area in all communities and have a permanent display of our cultures and heritage. Furthermore, we need to document and have monthly series about our culture and heritage, otherwise in the years to come, there will be no record of our heritage and culture.