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There is need for ongoing cultural awareness,

Observer writer

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Juliet Holness, the wife of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says there is a need for the country to continue to educate its people about the island's culture.

“We need to ensure that we continue to sell our culture, continue to educate our residents, so that all our residents have the ability to know where we are coming from, know what we are all about, and continue to push what makes us uniquely Jamaican to the rest of the world,” she argued.

She pointed out that many youngsters do not have older family members to share our culture with them.

“For our boys and girls growing up in Jamaica, for many of us our grandparents or our great grandparents are no longer here to tell us about the culture and rich heritage. We need to continue to create that in the businesses that we have,” she emphasised.

Holness was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Spiritz of Hanover Sports Bar, Restaurant and Gaming Lounge in Hopewell, Hanover, on Friday.

The facility was conceptualised by businessman Jeffrey Smith and his childhood schoolmate, entrepreneur Dr Karren Dunkley, an internationally recognised educator, speaker and leadership coach.

Smith said the launch of Spiritz of Hanover is the beginning of a long-term project to create a 'Reggae Village'.

“Spiritz of Hanover will be that reggae village. We have a great culture. We are always speaking about it, but we are losing it. And Hopewell will bring back the culture along with the residents of Hanover in a joint partnership with public and private,” Smith said.

“I just want you to think about a reggae village and how much the community can benefit from it. Education, employment… once we get that together we can expand it where tourism is concerned. So many cruise ship passengers for example, can come to a reggae village in Hopewell.”

Hanover -based medical doctor and owner of Hopewell Mall, where Spiritz of Hanover is located, Dr Clive McKenzie, in the meantime, has welcomed the concept, adding that other business people are willing to join.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Tourism Product Development Company, Dr Andrew Spencer, in his remarks read by Dr Karren Dunkley, noted that his company is looking forward to partner with Spiritz of Hanover in ensuring that all the required standards are met.

“We believe the brilliant concepts such as these need to be embraced and welcomed into the tourism and hospitality space. We have no doubt that the entity will be licensable and the Tourism Product Development Company looks forward to partnering with you to ensure all standards are met,” said Dr Spencer.