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Govt planning policy to guide cultural evolution

Government will develop and unveil a National Cultural Heritage Policy before the end of the financial year, according to Minister of Community, Culture and Sports Wayne Scott.

Highlighting Bermuda Day, Cup Match and other highlights of the Bermudian experience, Mr Scott said in the House of Assembly yesterday that the Island must both embrace it's culture and allow the next generation to develop their own avenues of self-expression.

“Culture is not static,” Mr Scott said. “Although we associate culture with tradition, heritage, and history, I would like to remind us that culture is also transformative, because it perpetuates itself through creativity and expression. For example, who could have known that the pulsating Gombey drumbeat, the colourful Bermuda shorts, and our beloved Cup Match, which all had their genesis as forms of expression, would ultimately become iconic symbols of our culture and heritage?

“It is for this reason that we must also embrace and celebrate our youth, as through their energy and creativity the Bermudian culture of the future will be born.

“We must strive to understand their expressions of music, art, dress, food and language. As members of an older generation in our society, we owe our youth the freedom of exploring new avenues of cultural expression whilst at the same time valuing what we know and appreciate as traditional aspects of our heritage.”

He said the new policy, which will be put before the House before the end of this financial year, is hoped to encourage a “more holistic and multifaceted” approach to incorporating aspects of Bermuda culture into our lives.

“Such a wide-reaching stance will call for collaborations with a number of partners in both the public and private sector, including but not limited to other Government Ministries, museums, art galleries, tradition-bearers, and artisans of every kind,” Mr Scott said.

“As a people, we must value our culture, both in the way we celebrate it for ourselves, as well as how we choose to share it with the world.

“It is my hope that the policy will engender an even greater appreciation of our culture and heritage than what currently exists; and motivate our youth to create new modes of cultural expression, some of which, over time, will become new cultural icons.”

Mr Scott called on the public to enjoy Monday's Bermuda Day festivities, including the Bermuda Day Parade, which is set to begin at 1.30pm, the Appleby Half Marathon, the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Cycle Race and the Junior Heritage Classic.

“I would also like to take this time to wish all of Bermuda's residents an enjoyable and safe Bermuda Day Holiday,” he said.

“I encourage us all to display the courtesy and respect to our fellow residents and visitors that our Island has become so famous for over the years, while enjoying the festive mood and celebrations over the upcoming weekend and holiday.”

Next generation: Zaria Smith portrays the role of Little Ms Paradise during the Purvis Primary Heritage Day Parade yesterday afternoon in the school's gymnasium

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Published May 24, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 23, 2014 at 11:36 pm)

Govt planning policy to guide cultural evolution

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