Morrison: We are free to express our culture

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Shumuald Carrington, centre,clicks his heels during a jig for the Moriah Ole Time Wedding segment, at Emancipation Day celebrations, Milford Road, Crown Point, Monday. – David Reid


Emancipation Day celebrations on Monday signalled the closing of the 2022 edition of Tobago Heritage Festival.

After an absence of two years, due to the covid19 pandemic, the closing procession and cultural show at Crown Point, highlighted colour, splendour, freedom and talented performances.

Among the cultural groups on show were the Charlotteville Folk Performers, Zante Dancers and Roxborough Folk Performers.

Little Miss Heritage 2022 Kershel Andrews, centre, at Emancipation Day celebrations in Crown Point on Monday. – David Reid

The large crowd was also treated to traditional characters, a Moriah Ole Time Wedding presenation, calypsoes by Leslie-Ann Ellis and Delani Baynes, and the Little Miss Heritage parade, which featured the winning queen from Mason Hall Police Youth Club.

Assistant secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Megan Morrison said the celebration was all about freedom.

She said, “We are on the streets of Crown Point and we are free, free, free. We have not only accomplished physical freedom, but mental freedom as well. We are free to celebrate.

“The procession is free to go along the streets, no hinderances. The Baptist religion is free to worship. So emancipation, we are free to be here.”

Morrison also stressed the importance of the physical interaction during the heritage celebrations, as opposed to the virtual viewing, which was the case in recent years.

“Actually, the in-person viewing is my thing – virtual does not have the personal touch, and without that personal touch, one does not actually get a feel of what our culture and heritage is all about.

“That in-person touch, there is nothing that can replace it.”

A dancer in the Moriah Ole Time Wedding procession feels the power of the tambrin music at Monday’s Emancipation Day celebrations in Crown Point. – David Reid

Asked about a budget for carnival celebrations scheduled for October, Morrison said, “A budget for carnival celebrations, is currently before the executive council, and by next week there should be a release on the budget for carnival 2022.”