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Let’s push pan, calypso – Feb 19

Let’s push pan, calypso – Feb 19 PDF Print E-mail

Revitalising Catholic Culture and IdentityBy Vernon Khelawan

Those of us who are true calypso and pan aficionados and who have been following the Junior and the Senior competitions in both areas over the years, would have noticed that in this year’s contests Catholic schools have again done quite well.

This is not by any shot a phenomenon…it has been happening for years.

By now the country has come to accept the steelpan, the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century, as an integral part of our cultural life and as such Catholics, as part of the citizenry, must recognise its real value. The same holds true for music and calypso.

That Catholic schools continue to shine in the arena of pan, as they do in calypso, theatre and other cultural norms, as well as in scholarship, should be no surprise to anyone. As such, the need for encouragement is a prerogative of all Catholics.

As we now pursue the revitalisation of our Catholic culture as mandated in the Second Pastoral Priority, it is obvious that calypso shows and steelband activity in our schools can be considered a major tool in this endeavour and should be earnestly pursued, more so as it involves our very young faithful.

Getting youngsters seriously involved in the various art forms which comprise our cultural identity is important for the whole Church. Several of our churches have their own steelbands, which in many instances form an important component of the various liturgies in the Church calendar, which go a long way in making our Church worship more culturally meaningful.

But “pan in Church” is only part of the story. Thinking outside the box would probably come up with some innovative ways in which the use of church steelbands can be positively exploited. If I may venture an idea or two – special concerts inside or outside of the church building, (where there’s no Church Hall) which can expose the community to a programme of choice religious music. In the case of the school steelbands, similar concerts can be organised and these can be enhanced with invitations to neighbouring schools either to participate or just attend as audience.

Properly done, such efforts can go a long way in revitalising our Catholic Culture and Identity Programme.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 March 2012 15:03