There is an extensive and ongoing debate with regard to the song which is to be selected as the flagship motto of our Independence celebrations. The controversy, which is shrouded in an air of political intrigue, arose when the song which was initially chosen was replaced some time following the change of political administrations.
Essentially, the song is not the pivotal issue fuelling the debate. The view is held that the current song is somewhat imprecise in its attempt to represent our culture, especially the subdivision of our diverse musical landscape. As the battle lines are being drawn and the respective sides demarcated, the most fundamental issue falls victim to the verbal sparring.
The reality exists that our culture, while demanded and envied worldwide, is being left to die a natural death as a direct result of neglect on the part of our local population and enterprise. Apart from the dying embers of Garveyism, the deep roots of our cultural enterprise are not being sufficiently attended to by the greater masses of the Jamaican population.
The most glaring example is the poor state of the “relationship” between the young and our cultural heritage. While it may be no fault of their own that they are more American than Jamaican, they must be held to account for not displaying a greater level of interest and respect for the cultural assets of the land to which they belong. At this juncture it must be highlighted that knowing every dancehall song should not be mistaken as being culturally aware.
In our 50th year of Independence, a renewed effort should be undertaken to cultivate a mindset within our population which caters to a greater appreciation for our cultural treasures, inclusive of our local foods, dress, language and overall heritage. Our culture is too rich for us to be so poorly aware of it. It is hoped that this renewed drive will carry the same level of enthusiasm which now accompanies the song divide.