Protect environment to save cultural heritage – Terrelonge

Friday, June 22, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — State Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Alando Terrelonge, says Jamaicans need to adopt a new attitude geared towards protecting the environment in order to preserve the country's cultural heritage.

He said that youth must be sensitised from early about the important elements of preserving one's culture.

“If we don't adopt a new culture that sees us having a zero tolerance as it relates to pollution, then it's only going to get worse. If we are truly to preserve our cultural heritage, our landscapes, our beaches our mountains, our waterfalls, all these vestiges, then we must ensure that our youngsters understand pollution and climate change,” he argued.

Terrelonge was speaking at the National Culture Club Conference held at the Evansville Business Complex, St Ann's Bay, St Ann, on Wednesday.

He said education should not only be about mathematics, science and language but should encompass the rich cultural heritage that is enjoyed as a Jamaican.

In this regard, he encouraged all youth to ensure they become a part of the cultural clubs in their area to get a better appreciation of the country's rich cultural heritage.

“Growing up, there were so many things that we enjoyed that we have not preserved. We have not preserved much of our folklore, we have not preserved much of our traditions, and these are what we call the intangible aspects of our culture, which must be preserved,” he noted.

Terrelonge expressed the hope that with the fusion of the cultural clubs, “we can have a rebirth of some of these folklores that have been lost over so many decades here in Jamaica”.

Culture clubs operating out of three agencies under the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport were merged in a bid to strengthen the movement.

The entities are the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), and Jamaica National Council-United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (JNC-UNESCO).

Interim Executive Director of the JCDC, Orville Hill, said the cultural clubs will serve as vehicles to keep students informed about cultural activities, agencies and the locations of cultural sites.

“We have a programme, which calls for many of you to engage each other in looking at greater participation in civic pride, develop respect for our Jamaican national symbols and, of course, to give greater awareness and appreciation of a very cultural heritage,” he noted.

The National Culture Club Conference 2018 was held under the theme 'Preserving Jamaica's Cultural Heritage through Technology and Integration'.

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