(Carifesta XIII Commentary) – Since Guyana had strongly anticipated participating at Carifesta XIII in Barbados, The Ministry of Education – Department of Culture in Guyana had selected seventy (70) persons to contribute and represent as effectively and efficiently as possible to the many events planned.

The Guyana team was selected to perform in different areas such as performing arts, literary arts, culinary arts, visual arts, fashion, craft, and symposia.

When the team was selected on 27th June 2017 all efforts were focused on this spectacular event which only comes every two years, and which saw all members clocked into fourth gear and rehearsals went to a different level.

While some members like the steel pan players who have been at it since March others had to double up.

Being selected to represent Guyana in drama under the performing arts banner I must say it is not an easy task when your director and playwright Subraj Singh of the play Masque gets you rehearsing one scene over and over until it’s perfected to his liking and not forgetting to mention me carrying Esther Hamer (plays my mother in the play) on my neck and back in some scenes. While preparations were afoot for Carifesta XIII one main event emphasis was placed on is the Guyana Night which saw most rehearsals happening at the National Cultural Centre.

Members of the Guyana contingent started traveling from the 16th August 2017 to be in Barbados for the opening ceremony which was scheduled for 17th August 2017.

However. this was later postponed due to Storm prediction from the weather monitors.

Tropical Storm Harvey was expected to hit Barbados at 2:00pm 17th August 2017, the disturbance was centered near latitude 13.1 North, longitude 54.1 West.

The storm which had threatened Barbados caused the Carifesta Officials to postpone Carifesta XIII events which saw the parade and opening being pushed back to a later date.

Although the storm had tampered with earlier events, the Guyana Contingent was still ready to perform which saw them in preparation for the Guyana Night, which entails the different members setting up their respective booths at the Grand Market-Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (Saturday, August 19th, 2017).

The Guyanese Contingent put on a really good show which saw all different forms of performing arts being displayed.

The hour long show which had no pauses or technical glitch was dubbed the best performance of the night, thus throwing off the Jamaicans who had performed earlier before the Guyanese.

One Barbadian, John Hackett stated “ I thought Guyanese were racially divided and therefore the Indians and Africans don’t mix. But after the performance of an Indian dance that had involved three different races he agreed that Guyanese are not only One People, One Nation, and One Destiny, but ‘wunno’ culturally diverse’’.

A number of Barbados based Guyanese who turned out to the Guyana Night was also given a good Guyanese presentation which saw performances from the National Drama Company of Guyana members(Ole Higue a dramatic piece and two spoken word pieces), National Dance Company of Guyana (performed three dances) , Nadira and Indranie Shaw Dance Group ( performed three dances), Otiska Drummers, Dubraj Tassa Group, Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, and The National Steel Orchestra.

The strong performance which was the eye candy of the night was well taken in by the Diaspora.

The Carifesta XIII events continue as the entire Guyana contingent is spreading out through the length and breadth of Barbados, showcasing their different form of Creative Arts.

The ten-day event will give Guyana the opportunity to network with other countries so as to share information and ideas to build their audience.