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Nov 15, 2017

Celebrating Culture and Music at Stella Maris

Cultural activities are taking place around the country to celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day. Over at Stella Maris today in Belize City, we found the young children celebrating four other cultures the Creole, Chinese, Mestizo, and Maya. They were all dressed up in traditional wear depicting the different cultures and to top off the event, Belizean artist Cocono Bwai delighted the students with a brukdong medley. News Five’s Duane Moody was also there.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Stella Maris School on Princess Margaret Drive came alive today with music and drumming as the students and staff celebrated their second annual cultural day. Dressed in various ethnic cultural attires, homeroom teachers and students set up booths and provided insight into the history, food, and traditions of some of the main cultures in Belize.

 

Karima Ocean

Karima Ocean, Principal, Stella Maris School

“We decided to do cultural day at Stella Maris School to ensure that children understand the different cultures that they are coming from and to embrace it. We live in a very diverse society and we want them to understand that we, especially when it comes to disability, it has no face—it goes right across the board. So we want them to understand that yes, you are Belizean and we have different cultures here in Belize. We want people to understand that yes we have children living with disabilities, but it does not stop them from understanding where they are coming from so that they can know how to move forward in life. We want them to understand that children living with disabilities have a say, they have a voice and they have an active role to play in their lives. OUT 02:31

 

Lytia Rhaburn says that the event is the result of interactive learning sessions between the various groups on display.

 

Lytia Rhaburn, Teacher

“They learn about their cultures and the parents are very supportive; wanted their children to dress in the outfits. And we made our own posters, we create our own displays and we actually practiced a little dance to display our culture. And I can see that this is the second year that we had it and it is really good. Last year, the infant division started it and now the whole entire school is a part of it and the community schools are a part of it. It is a good thing for us because we want to showcase our students. Our students are educated as well, they have abilities, they have ideas; they are very good students. If you spend a day here, you will be amazed with the experience.”

 

Creole, Chinese, Mestizo, Garifuna and Maya were the five cultures represented this year. And the hard work by the students and staff was worth it they were also treated to a sambai presentation by the Creole Council and Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow and Cocono Bwai, also made presentations for the cultural day.

 

Shyne Barrow

Shyne Barrow, Music Ambassador

“It was extremely important because the weak and the vulnerable in our society are overlooked and neglected. So I have a tremendous amount of respect for the staff here at Stella Maris for the very tedious and overwhelming task that they have at hand to deal with these special needs children. But it is something that we must do; we must take care of these children, we must do it with love, we must do it with kindness and gentleness. Music…I tell you. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else, anywhere else with any other title. The Ambassador of Music, I thank God for the opportunity to push music because music is so important. And I don’t think we appreciate how important, but when the music come on, all these kids are no different from any other children; they just start to dance to the music. So yes, we will have the Shyne Barrow Music Program here and I will donate all the instruments to Stella Maris for the Shyne Barrow Music Program.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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