Culture Minister, Senator Brenda Hood is generally pleased with the activities for Spicemas 2016 but expressed concerns over some of the lyrical contents of calypsonians and the costumes on display for this year’s celebration.
Speaking at a sitting of the Upper House of Parliament last Wednesday at the Trade Centre, Sen. Hood said that while Spicemas is a time for people to let loose, the masqueraders and calypsonians have to still be mindful that Grenada is a Christian nation.
“I just want to make an appeal to the artistes, calypsonians, soca artistes…this is a Christian society, a lot of times we have to think about the negative impacts that it (what is done in the artform) will have on the society”, she said.
According to the female government minister, the various participants need to understand that whatever is depicted in song or costume, the fact of the matter is that “what we display on the streets we need to be very conscious of it…”.
“…I am saying all this to say that I have been receiving letters and calls from persons who have listened to some of the lyrics and they are not happy”, she said.
“…A lot of it has to do about women…this is something that if they are produced in the music or you are on the streets…we have a lot of children that come out to these events and as adults we have to lead by example,” she added.
According to Sen. Hood as Minister of Culture, she has a responsibility to ensure that immoral acts are not present in the society.
“… We are not saying to the police to arrest everyone but what I am saying is that we need to be conscious of whatever comes out of our mouths because whatever comes out of our mouths we cannot take it back”, she told fellow legislators.
The Culture Minister spoke of a drop in the quality of the product produced by the band leaders.
“…I feel over the years they (costumes) have been losing expressions and these are things that we do not support here in Grenada and I want to ask everyone that is involved that they need to become more conscious,” she said.
The minister acknowledged that some people use carnival to have “a good time” but warned that it should not be “at the expense of one’s dignity”.
“I know Spicemas is a time that people let down their guard and they want to have a great time but at the end of the day, you have to think about days after Spicemas what happens – the country still exists, the children are there and the world is very small.
“I know we have one of the best J’ouvert in the world, (we) have a nice time but at the same time think about the other person…am I doing or saying something that will hurt the other person and I think this is how the artform will grow from strength to strength.
Sen. Hood told Parliament that the August festival should see nine (9) fancy bands on parade, which is an increase over that of last year.
“I have looked at the programme for all of the activities that are taking place. I am impressed with what I have seen. I know as Grenadians we all would be proud of what is coming forward,” she said.
Spicemas 2016 culminates on August 8 and 9 with the traditional street activities, which includes J’ouvert, Monday Night mas and the parade of the costume bands on the Tuesday.