Terrelonge wants J'cans at home to embrace culture

Terrelonge wants J'cans at home to embrace culture

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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ALANDO Terrelonge says he will continue to push for Jamaicans to accept and promote their own culture locally, during his tenure as state minister for culture, gender, entertainment, and sport.

Terrelonge is one of two state ministers who were reappointed following the Jamaica Labour Party's massive win at the national polls on September 3.

In a Jamaica Observer interview yesterday, he said he remains concerned that the country's culture is more widely embraced overseas than among Jamaicans at home, and that he would be pushing for a shift in that dynamic.

“There are many positive attributes to Jamaican culture, it has certainly put Jamaica on the map, but what I want from Jamaicans is [for them] to embrace our culture locally. There are times when it seems as if the international scene pays more respect or glorify our culture more than we do... at the local level, we need to recognise icons more,” he said.

The state minister said there is also the issue of hair and the perception of Rastafari and locked hair.

“There are still certain persons in Jamaica who have their own prejudices about the culture of wearing dreadlocks... yet still on the international scene, Rastafari and dreadlocks are a part of what it means to be Jamaican,” he continued.

Terrelonge said the entertainment sector will also have his full attention, as he intends to advance the drive to develop entertainment zones.

“As we learn to live with COVID, I look forward to working with the entertainment stakeholders on how to rebuild a stronger entertainment sector. We have been talking about entertainment zones for many years, it is time to create those zones and to come up with safe models,” he outlined.

He noted that the industry comprises various micro entrepreneurship, which connects all facets of Jamaican life and livelihood.

“So at the economic level, we have to find a safe way to put life back into our entertainment industry,” he said.

Terrelonge said he is again looking forward to working with portfolio minister, Olivia Grange, to help carry out the mandate of the super ministry, also in the areas of sport and gender affairs.

— Alphea Saunders


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