Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 05, 2024 (SKNIS): In a brief but significant ceremony marking the official launch of History and Heritage Month on Thursday, February 01, 2024, the Honourable Samal Duggins, Minister of Culture, underscored the profound connection between our past struggles, cultural resilience, and the ongoing journey of nation-building.
Themed “Re-educating Our People on Our Arts and Culture while Promoting Patriotism,” this month-long observance, spanning February 1-29, 2024, aims to deepen one’s understanding of the rich tapestry of our nation’s history and cultural heritage.
Minister Duggins emphasised the significance of History and Heritage Month, noting that it is far more than a retrospective look at our past.
“Our history and culture is not really just a collection of mere artefacts, it is the heartbeat essentially of who we are,” Minister Duggins said.
Highlighting the resilience of our forefathers and the unyielding spirit of our people, the minister reflected on the adversities overcome and the strength found in unity and shared identity.
“This is powerful and it speaks to the essence of our resilience. When we look beyond just our people and the struggles that we have borne over the years, [we] also must celebrate our art through the essence of our folklore, our art through the essence of our visual artists and through the essence of our music and dance and every other element,” stated Minister Duggins, capturing the depth and diversity of our cultural expression.
The minister of culture also shared a personal commitment to cultural advocacy, reinforcing the role each citizen plays in the preservation and celebration of our heritage.
“I have been celebrating our arts, history, and culture. This is essentially what each and every one of us should endeavour to do. Hold on to that piece of us that has developed and resonated through generations. Hold on to the piece of us that expresses essentially all that we are as we make ourselves what we ought to become, because life is continuous and so is culture,” the minister urged.
He noted that the launch of History and Heritage Month is not just a call to remember our past but an invitation to actively participate in the shaping of our cultural legacy. Minister Duggins said it is a reminder that our collective history and heritage are integral to our identity as a nation, and that by embracing and celebrating our cultural roots, we forge a stronger, more unified future.