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Sep 7, 2001

House of Culture opened in Benque Viejo

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It has been a long time coming, but Benque Viejo del Carmen has finally got a House of Culture to call its own. Ceremonies were held Thursday evening to inaugurate the new centre, located on St. Joseph Street, which was formerly home to the town’s police station. Among the speakers were the project co-ordinator David Ruiz and Prime Minister Said Musa.

David Ruiz, Co-ordinator, Benque House of Culture

“When a group of us first meddled in the magical realm of art and culture back in 1990, little did we know that we were breaking ground for the House of Culture in this community. We consider that our endeavours have faired well.”

Prime Minister Said Musa

“We do not try to isolate culture and think of it only as looking at a painting or watching a dance or listening to music et cetera. But culture is indeed our very make up, our lives, it is what makes us as people. Today, the sixth of September, we’re already getting into the mood of celebrating ourselves as a people, as a nation. And it’s only fitting that we remind ourselves that our Belizean identity comes about because of our culture. It was a cultural dream that made us pursue that desire to be free and to be independent. Culture is at the heart of our development. Indeed, you cannot have development unless you have a strong culture. The beauty of Belize is that ours is not a monoculture. It is a diverse culture of many different ethnic groups striving to make out of this diversity a tremendous unity and to bring about this great identity, that we call Belizean.”

The Prime Minister went on to assure his audience that although some cultural projects like the establishment of several museums and renovations to the Bliss Institute and Belize City House of Culture have been delayed, they will be completed. It is also the government’s intention to establish a House of Culture in every district of the country. Present at the ceremonies in Benque Viejo were Minister of Rural Development and Culture Marcial Mes and House of Culture director Lita Krohn.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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