Categorized | National News

Ministers Laud Junkanoo Commandos UK Tour

A representative group of the Junkanoo Commandos was recently lauded for representing the culture of The Bahamas.
The group will be performing throughout Scotland and England until July 21 and will hold several introductory workshops on
the various aspects of Junkanoo.

Tourism Minister ObieWilchcombe said the group’s international performances were important and he congratulated them on their 2014 UK tour.

“We saw their performance in the United States last year when the prime minister spoke on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech,” the minister said referring to a Junkanoo Commandos performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. that was carried live via satellite around the world.

“I think the ability to travel abroad and get the message out about The Bahamas, about our culture and what has made us who we are – and culture is what knits us all together.”

Minister Wilchcombe added that the world is interested in and “mystified” by countries like The Bahamas.
“We have to appreciate that in 41 years as a country, we have done a lot,” he said. “We have achieved a lot and that mystifies many.”

According to Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Dr. Daniel Johnson, the Junkanoo Commandos’ performances at international carnivals and festivals shows the country’s commitment to the festival model that the government is encouraging in The Bahamas.

“It shows around the world how many people have festivals and carnivals,” Minister Johnson noted.

“It shows that heritage is a big part of these events and so the Commandos are great cultural ambassadors, who are all around the world spreading the word about what Bahamian culture is all about.

“They are demonstrating the vibrant colours, the dance, the music, some poetry. They give people a taste of the culture and are really inviting people to come and see what we have next,” he added.

“I am very excited about the Junkanoo Commandos representing The Bahamas,” said Junkanoo Commandos Project Manager, Angelique McKay.

“I am very proud and also excited about the possibilities that the Junkanoo Commandos have to showcase ‘the number one cultural expression of The Bahamas’ to quite possibly hundreds of thousands of people during their time in the UK.”

Ms. McKay pointed out that the Junkanoo Commandos will be performing at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Carnival, the Fife Carnival as well as the Brohaha Festival in Liverpool, England.

“I believe that every time we get out there and show the world who we are it causes a greater understanding,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

“We would like for the country to continue to support the Junkanoo Commandos, especially because the grouping has members from every facet of our society,” Ms. McKay added.

The Junkanoo Commandos, she added, has members from several major Junkanoo groups, some of whom would never have worked together if it were not for the organisation.

“We are made up of a little piece of everyone collectively and trying to put our best foot forward at all times to showcase our cultural expression,” Ms. McKay added.

“Members of the Junkanoo Commandos are very passionate about Junkanoo. They are very professional young men and young women. They all have their individual careers along with that deep seeded passion for Junkanoo.”
“We are hoping that this spreads the word about The Bahamas and we’ll be doing a lot more of this (promotion) in the very near future,” Minister Johnson said. “We look forward to it.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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