Entertainment News

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Words can hurt more than sticks and stones

Lifestyle - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:02

I’m known to have a sharp tongue. A hot-mouth is what they called me and so over the years I’ve laboured on maturing in that area and, well, I’m still enrolled.

I own books like Words That Hurt, Words That Heal by Carole Mayhall, Me and My Big Mouth by Joyce Meyer, When to Speak Up and When To Shut Up by Dr Michael Sedler, and many other titles in that genre of life-changing-through-tongue-taming literature for the filthy mouth.

Bible quotes such as James 3:8, “But the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil full of deadly poison” have been my daily prompt. And in the Proverbs, I’ve found an instructive one that says, “When words are many sin is not absent.”

My bend to change has come from personal convictions about my sometimes ungraciousness, but the hurt placed on me by the mouths of others has provided impetus. Very early I learned that the idiom “Sticks and stones may break my bones (but words will never hurt me)” is a lie, a ploy to get children to deflect hurtful criticism/slander. Words have hurt me more than lashes in this life. As an eight-year-old I was told by a classmate that I was “as poor as a ‘sursh’ (church) rat” (sic)” and, while I had not as yet recognised the abject poverty in which I lived, she ensured I appreciated her malevolence, telling me in the presence of laughing schoolmates, “You have no fwigze (sic), you eh hah no TV and yuh does iron on a coal pot.”

That really hurt and I think I would have preferred to fight and lose than to be smacked down with such an insult.

It seemed not our fault for being without those appliances—we had no electricity until 1978—but in an effort to understand my hurt, I went home and asked my mother if I was poor.

In her calmest voice she enquired why I wanted to know and I repeated the incident. Hmm. Lawd. If you only knew my mother’s pride level, eh! Her black face seemed a bluish purple as she leaned into me, and with a voice belying the cool demeanour of one minute before, she bellowed, “Yuh have somewhere to sleep? Yuh have clothes? You eat food today?”

I doubt if she heard my answers, but having responded to each question, she then declared, “Well then, you not poor. Go back and tell her that you have beauty and brains and that is all you need to carry you through life.”

My mother shielded me with her wisdom. Her uncomplicated philosophy has buoyed my entire life. But I learned children could be brutal and words cut deep.

Now, with a recovering mouth, and smarting from the punishing I’ve had from the mouths of others, I’m circumspect about the power of words. Words hurt more than sticks and stones and do irreparable damage. Whether it’s under the ruse of picong, gossip, salvo, or exposè, all words that are damaging cause long-term injury.

Those uttered publicly and particularly in politics and open forums, which are then repeated ad infinitum, I know, contribute to the instability in societies.

And, this place is steeped with abuses, which seem bent to character assassination and as we continue to underestimate the destructive power of words, in nursery-rhyme conjecture, London Bridge is falling down—and right on top of us.

It seems that slander, provoking accusations, and all manner of cruelty are the chosen paths of expression here, where, in the words of former US President Barack Obama, we “treat name-calling as reasoned debate” and infuse “suspicion and fear of those who appear different to us” either by class, ethnicity or partisanship.

The wilfulness of our intent in using words as weapon is to break each other’s back. This is a most unfortunate juncture in our affairs. But, now, who is going to help us heal? Who will lead my headless nation into the reintegration of community spirit where we can regain living in neighbourly repose, where kindness is worn as our garment of tolerance?

As I consider the health of our nation, as I look at the death and mayhem each morning on the news, I remember the words uttered here, on more than one occasion also, by high office holders and contenders, that “blood will flow.” As I consider my own experience recently where I overheard someone describe me as “ mental”; as I estimate the pain that such ignorance and bigotry can cause, I can only appeal to us to learn to suspend judgment especially the judgment that pronounces with hurtful words.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an edited version of a feature published as How do we recover from words that hurt? on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Categories: Entertainment News

Cozy evening at home for jazz

Lifestyle - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 00:53

On an otherwise socially busy Friday evening last week, the cozy Ethnic Jazz Club (EJC) studio in Woodbrook, home of jazz ensemble Moyenne, hosted a free “open session” for musicians before a small audience that mostly concluded it was the best place to be that evening.

EJC leader, keyboardist Chantal Esdelle, hopes for a better response from musicians next time around on July 6. However, there was no holding back from Moyenne regulars, bassist Douglas Redon and pannist Natasha Joseph who, along with Esdelle, fed a musically knowledgeable audience an eclectic menu of jazz standards and jazzy interpretations of calypso, Latin and pop hits.

Opening with Duke Ellington’s Caravan, at the request of Redon who wanted to start with a “bang,” the trio could not help but show off with energetic solos in delivering this timeless classic.

Then, following a largely faithful rendition of the melodic Besame Mucho, the trio dug into the calypso wonder-bag to find Lord Kitchener’s Sugar Bum Bum which restored the opening tempo on the evening.

The evening would not have been complete without an offering from the Clive Zanda playbook.

This time it was his Chip Down. The challenging task was left to Esdelle to lead the way on the keys. Zanda is himself an EJC regular.

There was some skillful improvisation on Tito Puente’s Oye Como Va and closure came with an inspired rendition of Autumn Leaves, the early French jazz standard popularised in the US in the 1950s by Nat King Cole.

The plan for these “open sessions” is to feature musicians who won’t mind rubbing shoulders with other accomplished colleagues on the first Friday of every month.

This will run for the rest of the year to help mark 20 years since the establishment of Moyenne as one of the country’s leading jazz bands.

The actual anniversary is June 25 and this will be specially marked by four shows on June 22 and 23—two sets per evening.

The other activity planned by EJC is to present Jazz Cuts comprising video “snippets” of past performances by Moyenne and other leading jazz artists on the Club’s Facebook page.

Last Friday, Esdelle related the story behind the modest facility at 51 Cornelio Street, Woodbrook, saying the proceeds from previous shows, along with contributions from supporters, had helped improve accommodations at the studio.

The EJC studio has come a long way since the cramped space was launched as a venue for first-class jazz offerings. It has hosted numerous sessions with leading local, regional and international jazz musicians.

“Join us as the newest configuration of Moyenne explores our classic originals with new sound and presents new originals with our classic sound,” Esdelle says of the upcoming sessions later this month.

She is also encouraging jazz lovers to join the group’s mailing list by contacting EJC at [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Celebrating East Indian Arts after Arrival Day

Lifestyle - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 00:52

The Indian Arrival Day holiday may have come and gone, but every day is a great day to celebrate a country’s cultural diversity and upbringing. The contribution of people of East Indian descent has greatly added to T&T’s identity as a nation, and what better way to continue commemorations, to keep the pages of our story turning, than with song and dance?

After a very successful 70th anniversary dance production last weekend, on Sunday, June 10, the Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook will stage an intimate performance starring some of the country’s most prolific classical Indian dancers and choreographers, Susan Mohip and Mondira Balkaransingh and company.

Their rich backgrounds in the equally emotive and illustrative Kathak and Odissa dance styles respectively will serve to tell a story on the Woodbrook stage, continuing to fly the flag for age-old Indian traditions which have been embedded into T&T’s cultural fabric since 1845.

Dancing since the age of three, competing by age seven, “Baby Susan” Mohip has blossomed into her role as one of Trinidad’s leading creative and film dancers, as co-founder of the Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, director of the Susan Mohip Dance Company, and Classical Indian Dance instructor at the academy for the performing arts, University of T&T.

She has taken her passion for the poetic and rhythmically-rich movements of Kathak on extensive tours through the Caribbean, South America, Canada and India, even having performed for many foreign dignitaries including the Prime Minister of India, Prince of Wales and the President of Botswana.

The concert also honours the work of Nrityanjali Theatre’s Mondira Balkaransingh, who found her love for Odissa under the dedicated training of nationally awarded masters at India’s Bharatiya Kala Kendra in Odissi.

Odissa is a beautiful classical style steeped in Hindu mythology originating from the temples of the Eastern coastal state of Odisha in India, but finds its fit effortlessly on the stage in Trinidad under her masterful direction.

Given the title of a cultural icon by the T&T government in 1994, it’s no surprise that dance has taken her all over the world representing both the governments of T&T and India, and that her body of artistic work spans more than 40 productions and counting. Nrityanjali Theatre has a Humming Bird Medal (Gold) in part thanks to her, and Balkaransingh can even be credited for having written the Dance Curriculum for local secondary schools.

The concert is one of four productions the Little Carib will stage specially to celebrate 70 years as an institution in the city for Performing Arts, and completing the bill will be none other than internationally-renowned classical sitarist, Sharda Patasar, daughter to award-winning musician Mungal Patasar.

Showtime is 6 pm and tickets, costing $150 each, can be purchased at the venue. For bookings and further information, call 622 4644.

Categories: Entertainment News

Pandemonium apace at Pan Trinbago

Lifestyle - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 02:21

Can there be pan without the demonium? Are there ‘demons’ ruling pan – roaming among the pan world hence the bacchanal and confusion from its embryo stage to adulthood, today?

This culture of destructive drama cannot continue to be marketed as integral to this angelic instrument called pan – “allyuh ent see anything with pan is confusion and bacchanal?” many assert.

The word pandemonium originated in the 17th century and comes from the Greek words “pan” meaning all, and “daemōn,” demons.

Prior to my introduction to playing the pan in 1974, the era when my uncle – the late George “Sonny” Goddard – was president of the then-called National Association of T&T Steelbandsmen Association (Natts) and prior to his tenure, every meeting (on pan) was embroiled in cuss-outs and ended with chair-flinging and walk-outs.

Cigarette-puffing, drink-in-hand, hot-tempered, boisterous individuals, had pan in the palm of their hands – their role: to ‘develop’ the fraternity, the art form, sweeten culture and promote the instrument.
Sad though, while the instrument was developed and is being further… meeting acceptance, awakening pleasure and gaining appreciation, globally, personal and key aspects of professional development – respect; confidentiality; professionalism; proper planning, organisational, communication and customer service skills; integrity, trustworthiness; and healthy team spirit – are still in the wings waiting to make its debut centre stage.

While one could boast of having gained relevant knowledge or training, the harsh reality is, the measurement that determines if these talents are effectual is not by simply stating they are our core values, we attended a course or got certified, but solely by the calibre to which self, others, tasks and the business itself are managed or lead – how many people in and out of the fold are satisfied; have we created/do we create ill-will or alienation…how many have fallen away; have we placed the establishment into disrepute; am I honest; what is the world saying; where are we on the success grid – the lyrical question: am I an asset or a liability?

In 2009, a man named Keith Diaz was appointed as President of the governing body for pan, Pan Trinbago Inc. He is admirably noted for having introduced and implemented a series of initiatives that would see movements shift laterally and vertically with a view, that the vertical lever would constantly spiral upward.

Almost 20 years in office nonetheless, the lever seems to have become rusted and falling apart, prompting vociferous calls internationally, for him and his Pan Trinbago band to demit office.

The raging, incessant confusion transpiring with financial accountability, the battle with the Ministry of Culture, the fall-outs with the overarching carnival body, NCC; the lack of receptiveness, objectivity and open-mindedness to advice for betterment, frustrated pan players, internal wrangling – mass turmoil – position the world to sit-up and take note that the “governing body for pan” in the ‘mecca of pan’ hasn’t gotten it right.

It’s not only, that “Everyone Listens” When Steel Talks according to the website, but everyone reacts.

‘Everyone’ isn’t only those currently-involved in pan, but too, those who are for the first time, seeking an investment in the art form.

Is this truly the modus operandi to continue?

For the mecca to make a bold and impressive statement, not only has it become necessary, but mandatory, to engage in a recovery, restructure and rescue program, ensuring those operating its business are self-aware, effectively knowledgeable, adept and able to execute, exemplarily.

Salvaging what good remains and rescuing the fraternity from whatever demons are plaguing, are now incumbent upon six Government Ministries – Culture, Tourism, Community Development, Trade and Industry, and Education – to offer guidelines and standards towards impressive brand and reputation.

There’s Pandemonium apace at Pan Trinbago.

In the May 29 Guardian column, “Three Pan chairmen want Diaz out,” in part it states “The trio are also ‘demanding’ that fresh elections be held….”

It should be strongly noted, to move forward and upward, the spirit of ‘rogue’ must be eliminated from the world of pan. Our national instrument is not (emphasise not) ‘gunta culture’.

The nation is already buckling under the effects of rogue and bullying elements, it need not continue to allow this type of conduct.

The Bible states: “Jesus was crucified. He died for our sins.”

In one of his statements, Diaz says, “he feels as though the nation is trying to crucify him.”

While it is unclear whose sins this crucifixion is going to represent, putting the contentious areas aside, there is still a moral compass of sorts that guides the nation, and it will be remiss of the people to not thank Pan Trinbago’s potential predecessors for the contributions they have made as they make their transition, and wish them well.

Categories: Entertainment News

The Right Kind of Wrong to have gala premiere

Lifestyle - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 02:20

It’s definitely an event not to be missed. Truly a red carpet spectacle with spectacular glitz, glamour and of course couture.

A-Listers like former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam, ace cricketer Dwayne Bravo, famed hairdresser Bally and international model and photographer Calvin French among several other prominent people will all be in attendance at the biggest event of the season—the premier of the The Right Kind of Wrong.

An estimated 400 guests are expected to turn up at the premier gala at Central Bank Auditorium, Port-of-Spain on June 14 which begins at 7.15 pm, with the actual theatrical show beginning at 8.30 pm.

It’s an amazing play directed and reproduced by veteran actor and prominent playwright Fareid Carvalho.

And in true Carvalho style, he promises everything over the top, from the hors d’oeuvres and premium drinks to the production itself.

Carvalho, who has dominated children’s theatre for the past 17 years, is returning to adult theatre with a bang with the recent establishment of Carvalho Theatre.

In speaking about play he describes it as a farce comprising six cast members.

“It’s more than comedy. All patrons will not only get a fantastic comical show with superb acting but with many tasty hors d’oeuvres, exquisite drinks and of course free giveaways,” Carvalho promises.

It’s based on a Rico Suave character who is dating three flight attendants from three different airlines all at the same time but each having no knowledge of the other.

There’s also an obnoxious housekeeper who knows of his charades.

Then there is also Robert from Biche, played by Carvalho.

Robert, who is clumsy and nerdy, comes to Trincity for the first time, and gets enthralled in this comical but precarious situation.

“I was motivated to do the play because of the specific timing of a farce. It’s really about doors opening and closing very quickly.....so as one girl goes in one girl comes out. It actually has the audience aghast for breath,” Carvalho explained.

But moreso, the play signifies a triumphant achievement in Carvalho’s career as it’s the first time he will be in the director’s chair.

“After 17 years of hiring directors I wanted to challenge myself even more. I believe my personality is a rolling stone that gathers no moss.

“I’m always trying to push my creative envelop and to me acting, modelling, King of Carnival competitor, producer, creative director....to add this directing element will be the closure of doing all aspects of theatre.

I’m also a creative director so creatively the costumes and the set of the play are amazing,” Carvalho explained.

The main stars of the show are all men, a feature which Carvalho describes as significant.

His character, Carvalho added, also gives sound business advice.

This aspect triggered many treasured memories for the famed actor whose grandfather Manuel Carvalho, an Portuguese immigrant, came to T&T decades ago.

Manuel, who passed last year at 83, started off as a humble tradesman who quickly turned into a shrewd businessman, establishing Carvalho’s ice cream, Carvalho’s chicken and chips and owning the everpopular and iconic Green Corner in Port-of-Spain.

Manuel’s traits of hard work and determination as well as sound family values have been passed on to his grandson

“My grandfather taught me that family is the most important thing and that you could only trust family as they will go the distance for you.

“He also told me to ‘be alive when you’re alive’,” Carvalho said

The production runs from June 14 to June 17 at the Central Bank Auditorium and will include a blockbuster cast with the likes of Cecilia Salazar and Dese Simon.

And with June 17 being Father’s Day, “two for one specials” are being offered.

Carvalho Theatre is also geared towards igniting public conversations inspired by comical and fabulous characters and also help citizens explore where T&T is heading as a nation.

“There are also serious messages like who we are and where we came from,” Carvalho noted.

But he’s also using adult theatre to develop young upcoming actors by offering job opportunities and create platforms for rising starts to network and engage seasoned members of the theatre fraternity.

Categories: Entertainment News

Reward for outstanding policing in Matelot

Lifestyle - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 02:17

Ag Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said the interest of people for each other in communities ensures their community is safe.

Matelot police station recorded the largest percentage of deduction in crime among all local police stations, with less than 20 serious crimes being recorded in Matelot Village in 2017. Because villagers look out for each other and work with the police, Matelot has declared itself as the safest community in Trinidad.

“Definitely Matelot is the safest community in the land,” said Ag CoP Williams in his address at Sangre Grande Regional Corporation function honouring Eastern Division Police held at the Chamber’s Hall.

The top CoP said there is a big lesson on how people live with each other and how well they relate to protect their community.

He added that he cannot package Matelot and sell it to other communities and commanders of TTPS, but they must learn and share to make T&T a better place.

Williams said when Eastern Division got nine awards as well Best Leader commendation there were grumblings, but reminded that Snr Supt Garth Nelson took up the challenge which led to success.

Williams added that the Eastern Division is monitored on a weekly basis on its progress and getting awards and being the best leader does not happen by accident but with good leadership and that’s why the Eastern Division won its awards last year.

Councillor for Matelot and Chairman of Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Terry Rondon expressed elation over the announcement and pledged the support of the corporation and Municipal police in assisting TTPS in crime fighting.

Rondon related his experience growing up in Matelot where his mother would send him to distribute food to the police officers stationed at Matelot, which developed a relationship with the police, villagers, especially parents and children.

Rondon called upon parents to develop a harmonious relationship with the police in their communities for a better and safer T&T.

He also congratulated Nelson, the 2017 top leader of TTPS and his officers with a plaque for outstanding dedication and commitment to duties in making Eastern Division Region, a safe place.

Also attending the event and making positive comments were Dianne Lakhan, Chief Executive Officer SGRC; ACP Mc Donald Jacob, ACP Municipal Police; Brian Headley; Insp Erica Prito; and, Councillor Anil Juteram who gave the vote of thanks.


Categories: Entertainment News

Beyond beauty

Lifestyle - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 02:14

“It is our responsibility (collectively) to support what is ours and we must continue to be proud as a nation regardless of colour, creed and race.

We must stand together strong.” These were the words of Brian Gopaul in an interview with the Trinidad Guardian.

Gopaul is the new franchise holder of Miss World T&T (MWTT). He added that the pageant is a great opportunity and it is the country’s responsibility to ensure great representation on the international stage.

Who exactly is Brian Gopaul and why did he decide to bid for the franchise?

Gopaul, who studied Agriculture at ECIAF (Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry) was always a very creative child. He was extremely good at taking control of things and transforming it. As he grew older the boy became interested in pageantry and the age of 16, he held his first pageant ‘Miss Gasparillo Composite’ at the Gasparillo Composite School.

As he grew, so too did his passion for all things related to beauty and transformation. Thus, he ventured into Events Planning and Decorating eventually becoming one of the best in his field. Together with his business partner Reiaz Mohammed, he set up his business—Elite Planners Limited.

Almost 20 years later, Gopaul finally got the opportunity he always seemed to miss. “Past delegates of the MWTT pageant notified me that the franchise was available since they thought I would be ideal for the role. They were pushing me to bid. I did some research and spoke to well known people in the field and I decided to send in my application.”

Being awarded the franchise was no easy task for Gopaul. “The members of the MWTT Organisation was very particular since they wanted to ensure the franchise is well represented,” he explained. After the organisation checked the credibility of both Gopaul and Mohammed (who is now the codirector of MWTT), they were awarded the franchise.

So what does Gopaul hope to do with the franchise and what is his role and vision? To this question he answered:

“I want to ensure that our country is well represented on a national level and to ensure that the selection process is fair and that we are proud as country.”

Gopaul added that he hopes to restore the faith in the population in pageantry. “Somewhere along the line, we have lost faith. I think there is a breakdown in society and we need to attend to it. Sometimes all it takes is just one hand.”

The theme of the MWTT pageant is Beauty with a Purpose and Gopaul intends to use this platform to fulfil that purpose.

“We want to use this platform to raise awareness. It is not just for young women but we can use these women to share positive influence on children.

We are going to educate, improve and uplift the spirit of young people across the board. Additionally, we will use this platform for national building and as a national drive. We need national pride and we need to engage the public so everyone can realise their role in taking T&T out there.”

The franchise holder insisted that MWTT is the platform to promote tourism stating that it has the largest viewership across the board.

Gopaul has a lot of hope that these things will be accomplished since he has complete faith in his dynamic team which consists of well known professionals.

This pageant is more than beauty,” he said. “The training the girls will receive is second to none. It is more than just make-up. We want to ensure that these girls are well-equipped in things like International Affairs, Art, History and Culture, Protocol, Health and well-being, Social Media Education, Etiquette and Networking and so much more.”

The new franchise holder has high hopes for this competition and he admits that the support has been overwhelming. “People are looking forward to change” he said.

To the young women of Trinidad and Tobago Gopaul sent out this message: “Follow your dream. Every dream beings with a dreamer and always be the best you can possibly be. We always have personal work to do on ourselves.

It does not end with a pageant.”

Gopaul also requested the help of everyone including the Government and ministries.

He said, “MWTT has an ambassadorial role in representing T&T and at the end of the day it is all about representing the country and putting country first.”

The casting call for MWTT took place last weekend at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre. The ten successful candidates selected will be presented to the media soon.

Categories: Entertainment News

Raising funds through tea, music

Lifestyle - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 02:04

The JC Mac Donald Home for the Aged held its tea fund-raiser two Sundays ago at Naparima College, San Fernando.

Patrons enjoyed entertainment from Rikki Jai, Timothy Bally and Christopher, Ruby Pooransingh, the Sanctified Alliance gospel group, Bobby Ramdeen, and models from the House of Jacqui.

The chairman of the home, Dr Allan McKenzie, said funds acquired will go towards repairs to the home. Attending the event was Justice Anthony Lucky, judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Categories: Entertainment News

Keithos’ ink bottle runneth over

Lifestyle - Sun, 06/03/2018 - 02:28

Well-known local cartoonist Keith “Keithos” Anderson AKA “Culture Man” has been drawing cartoons professionally for almost half a century.

Since his retirement from the Guardian in 2011 as a cartoonist, illustrator and columnist, the prolific caricaturist has been busy with several projects, one of which was the launch of his third exhibition Keithos Returns to Town at the National Library, Port-of-Spain, on April 3.

Anderson, 67, is still fast on the draw from his lips with his quips and humour, and also his pen and markers. When the Sunday Guardian sat down with the man of many talents at Nalis, Port-of-Spain, he drew one of his favourite comic book characters, Sad Sack and also this reporter.

Anderson said: “Since I retired it’s like I got a second burst of life. Right now, I’m drawing like a madman. Every day I’m drawing, writing poetry, and songs. I’m very busy. Right now

I’m working on ‘something’ on pan, but I want to keep it under wraps for now.

“I’m also working on an anthology of poems and assisting other people with their projects and want to start doing caricatures ‘live and direct’ of people on Frederick Street.

“Then there’s a book I have coming out called ‘The Journalist’s Survival Journey’ which traces my career with the Bomb to the Guardian.”

When asked about the perception that there were few young cartoonists entering the field, he said on the contrary there was a great future for young artists in illustration—he spoke about graphic artist and cartoonist Jason Hendrickson, the son of calypsonian All Rounder Anthony Hendrickson, who took part in his exhibitions at Nalis.

Anderson said youths did not have to pick up a gun, there was so much opportunities opening up for them and they just had to embrace them just like Tobagoborn animator Sekani Solomon who worked on the main end titles for the blockbuster Black Panther movie.

He said T&T’s stories, it’s rich local folklore, and steelpan can be told in different formats such as movies and animation.

Anderson cited Trinidadian author Michael Anthony’s novel Green Days By The River which was made into a movie, Crick Crack, Monkey by Merle Hodge, Sam Selvon’s The lonely Londoners, The Games Were Coming by Michael Anthony.

He said he hoped to rally and motivate youths as they had a great future not only in editorial cartoons but in animation, hence the reason for him holding workshops and motivational talks in schools such as Belmont Boys and South East Secondary School.

Anderson said he also did charity work and also wanted to go to the prisons and YTC and conduct workshops to motivate inmates.

The Camsel/Matt Lumen Media Awards 2009 winner for editorial cartooning said that God blessed him and he had to pass on the knowledge to other people such as Hendrickson, UWI students, and students doing their School Based Assessment (SBA).

Anderson also thanked the local artists who inspired him, Alfred Codallo, the forerunner to the legendary Dunstan Eugene Williams (DEW).

He said he had so many wonderful memories and experiences. One of them was visiting the Baltimore Comicon in 2011 where the legendary Stan Lee, American comic-book writer, editor, film executive producer, and publisher met with fans.

He was also proud to meet Korean-American comic strip and comic book writer and illustrator Frank Cho and other artists.

The avid Sad Sack comic book collector said anyone with copies under their bed or old cupboard, can contact him to either donate them or to sell.

Anderson said he was available for seminars and talks and can be contacted at 775-6068 or email: [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Raising funds for dance

Lifestyle - Sat, 06/02/2018 - 00:23

Tonight and tomorrow, the Carib Dance Theatre Company will be having a fund-raising concert, entitled Carib Dance: Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of The Little Carib Theatre. The event aims to offset the costs of the company attending the 51st World Congress of Dance Research in Greece in July.

The Company’s Artistic Director and choreographer Andre Largen said the Carib Dance Company began in 2013 and was formerly known as the Little Carib Dance Theatre Company.

He said the Company previously put on a concert in 2016 celebrating the birthday of Beryl McBurnie, the founder of the Little Carib Theatre.

The company has also toured in London where they performed two shows at the Tabernacle, and taught workshops in folk dance and modern dance. They also taught classes in four types of folk dances.

In Greece, the Company will be presenting a paper at the World Congress of Dance Research, as well as performing two dance pieces which will be featured in this weekend’s show and teaching a series of workshops on folk dancing.

Largen said: “We are showing two different styles because we are using the music of Andre Tanker and Pamberi Steel Orchestra, so we’ll be using their music and we’ll be performing Sancoche, a mixture of folk dances. We leave on July 3.”

Prior to going to Greece, the Company, along with dancers from Tobago, will be part of a contingent who will represent T&T at the Bele Festival in Martinique from June 7 to 12.

Travel for this trip is being paid for by the French Government. While there, they will perform the Bele Reel and Jig, the Congo Bele and the Trinidad Bele, as well as participate in workshops.

The show comprises a variety of solos, duets and group pieces, with a total of nine dancers. Most of the dancers are alumni of the Caribbean School of Dance, with two dancers from UWI St Augustine, where Largen is an adjunct lecturer at the Department of Creative and Festival Arts.

Largen said while they had received some help from various institutions to pave their way to Greece, they are hoping to have full houses and be sold out on both nights of the show in order to make their quota.

T-shirts will also be on sale with the Carib Dance logo in green, black and red. Tickets are on sale during the holidays and from noon up to show time on both days.

Tickets cost $150 and showtime tonight is 7 pm and 6 pm tomorrow. For more information, call 625-0978 and 721-3809.

Categories: Entertainment News

Indo Comedy Festival tonight

Lifestyle - Sat, 06/02/2018 - 00:21

When East Indians arrived in T&T as indentured labourers they brought with them many of their customs, foods, fashion and cultural expressions, which have through the years become integral elements of Trinbago life.

Randy Glasgow Productions (RGP) joins the rest of T&T to celebrate the initial arrival of East Indians to our shores and the sterling contributions they have made to our nation. Many of us will not go through one week without having a doubles, or five, and there must be some form of curry on the menu as well.

Another element of Indo-Trinbagonian culture we all have come to enjoy and appreciate is their brand of comedy.

They blend irony and drama with sharp-tongued acidic wit that sends audiences wild. The Indo-Trinbagonians have also developed chutney music into which they inject humour, singing about everything from love gone sour to the escapades of politicians.

In continued celebration of Indian Arrival Day and Indian Heritage Month, RGP is presenting the second annual Indo Comedy Festival opening tonight (June 2) at the South Haven Shopping Centre, Debe from 8.30 pm.

This show will bring together the nation’s top Indo-Trinbagonian stand-up comedians and humourists who will all deliver brand new material based on the present political landscape, local current affairs, the misadventures of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and other international happenings.

One of the new elements of this run of the Indo Comedy Festival will be the most popular chutney music artistes taking the stage as actors in the several skits to be presented.

You will see the king of comedy-driven chutney music Kenneth Supersad being more crazy than ever, while chutney queen Sally Sagram will portray a young executive who is fed-up of her boss, Jairam Singh an Indian expo owner, ogling at her.

There will also be comedic and musical performances by former National Chutney Soca Monarch Omardath Maraj, Darrion “Prince of Theatre” Narine portraying Shahrukh Khan, the Ramsingh Family, the Bacchanal Sisters, Cecilia Salazar, Penelope Spencer, Paul Beharry and several other comedic favourites.

And, an Indo Comedy Festival must include East Indian cuisine, so patrons can expect a nice selection of tasty dishes on sale along with the most in demand beverages.

Following tonight’s opening the festival goes to Rienzi Complex, Couva on June 9. For more information contact the festival hotline—774 5555.

Tickets are very reasonable, priced at $100 for general admission and $150 for open reserved, available at all NLCB Lotto Booths Nationwide; Anand Low Price Supermarkets; and, JTA Supermarket, Couva.

Categories: Entertainment News

Ministry brings Masala vibe to Woodford Square

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:37

Our nation celebrated the 173rd anniversary of the arrival of our East Indian ancestors to T&T on Wednesday, and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts (MCDCA) paid tribute to the rich cultural legacy brought by these ancestors at its third installation of the [email protected] Concert series at Woodford Square.

Titled [email protected] Masala, the event’s headliners were 2018 joint Chutney Soca Monarch Neval Chatelal and Nishard M, with Rick and Vanessa of the Fusion Band and Andre Mangatal rounding off the cast.

The attendees enjoyed doing the now famed ‘masala’ dance as the artistes brought their performance from the bandstand to guests huddled around the trees of Woodford Square.

The MCDCA will dedicate the month of June to its Brown Bag Series featuring the National Performing Arts entities, and therefore, the next edition of [email protected] will be held in July.

Categories: Entertainment News

Pan Jazz at WeBeat St James Live 2018 comes off on Thursday

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:34

Jazz heads to St James on day two of WeBeat St James Live 2018, the cultural experience hosted by the St James Community Improvement Committee (CIC).

Pan Jazz Night, offering an impressive line-up of well-known entertainers, takes place at the St James Amphitheatre, Western Main Road, St James, on Thursday, June 7, starting at 8 pm.

Featured performers are the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO); Codrington Pan Family; Golden Hands Steel Orchestra and Moore’s Music. They will showcase from smooth jazz to classic jazz, to calypso and groovy jazz.

Also sharing the spotlight will be this year’s honoree Power Stars Steel Orchestra, formerly known as Blue Stars.

The band was established in 1957 as Blue Stars, but ten years later acquired sponsorship from the T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC) and subsequently became known as T&TEC Power Stars. The relationship existed for 41 years.

Over the years, Power Stars formed alliances with many junior steelbands, inclusive of St Francois Girls’ College of Belmont and Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive School. In 2008 the band lost its sponsorship, but continues to strive to keep itself firmly fixed in the steelband firmament by engaging in activities to ensure its continued existence, in addition to becoming a source of upliftment to the St James/Cocorite community.

For yet another year, the committee is inviting patrons to walk with their favourite beverages on the occasion, as chasers, non-alcohol drinks, and ice will be on sale.

Tickets for the event are priced at $150 each, and will be available at the door.

WeBeat St James Live is designed to promote the community of St James and plays a role in promoting an opportunity for artistes to showcase their talent, while seeking to build a sustainable tourism product with domestic allure. (DMC)

Categories: Entertainment News

Danielle Williams—the experience of seeing sound

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:33

Every now and then, somebody initiates a challenging discussion about the relationship between art and science. Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the best example of someone who straddled these disciplines with excellence; but he was one in a million.

Several contemporary musicians have emerged from hard science backgrounds to provide proof that these vantage points on the world and how it works are actually not that far apart.

For example, in T&T, medical doctor Kongshiek Achong Low performed for some time as a calypsonian by the name of ‘Dr Soca’, and Trinidadian aviation engineer, Sheldon Garfield Skeete, was named Calypso Monarch of the United Kingdom in 2012.

Accomplished young T&T soprano, Danielle Williams, who describes herself as a “singer/scientist,” seems pretty clear on the main issues here—the distinction between science and art is something of an illusion.

There is much in Williams’ background to reinforce the point. Not only has she completed advanced studies in Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences, in anticipation of a now seemingly-abandoned future career in medicine, Williams also has an Artist Diploma in Music Performance from the University of T&T and has completed advanced artistic training at an opera studio programme in Härnösand Sweden.

For Williams, being a singer/scientist “is really a distillation of who I am and what I would like to offer to the local and international community. I’d like to use music and science to help transform the world. The worlds within and around us.”

It’s not all modern-era artistic gobbledygook though. The 30-year-old works hard at song and science and the numerous junctures at which they intersect. She is absolutely no slouch onstage as an operatic soprano and has matching accomplishments in scientific studies.

Being a singer/scientist, she says, “allows space for my brand to evolve to reflect all of my artist and scientific interests: vocal science and performance, pedagogy and eventually vocology and clinical practice.”

“I approach each facet of my life and artistry through this art/science filter—research well, find a balanced data-centred perspective, understand best practice, test, refine.

“Then, with a healthy dose of tell-a-story, emote, let go, feel.”

There is a major project of hers in the making that challenges popular beliefs in such matters. It involves the establishment of an ArtScience Foundation which Williams, 30, sees as a facility that will “create experiences designed to encourage critical thinking through the exploration of the interaction between art and science.”

How she sees this working in practical terms is through the use of “themed pop-up installations” that will be “immersive, interactive and participatory with a view of further developing the critical thinking and problem solving skills of the participant.”

This thesis will be put to the test on June 9 and 10 at Grundlos Kollektiv, 11 Cipriani Boulevard in Port-of-Spain when Williams presents Seeing Sound—“an immersive interactive visual and sonic experience which fuses digital art, film, music and dance.”

The live show will be an interactive art installation that explores cymatics (sound and vibration) and chromesthesia (sound and colour synchronisation).

The musical component of the experience will include hits, in different musical genres, from popular movies, operas and musical theatre.

“Woven together with film and poetry,” Williams says, “Seeing Sound will take the audience on a captivating journey that will leave them entertained, inspired and renewed.”

Interested? Click on www.daniellekwilliams.com/tickets or call
685-8970 or 785-8743.

Categories: Entertainment News

Flamenco, capoeira, merengue at Latin Nights 2...

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:31

See live performances by flamenco dancers, capoeira artistes (Afro-Brazilian martial arts), merengue dancers and a lot more at Nalis’ second edition of Latin Nights from June 11 to 16 at the National Library of T&T (Nalis), located at Hart and Abercromby Streets, Port-of-Spain. All events are free to the public.

Dubbed Latin Nights 2, this series of events is a celebration of Latin culture, folklore, films, arts and cuisine. It is geared towards bridging cultural divides and promoting the use of Spanish as T&T’s second language.

Through their embassies in T&T, participating countries will include Brazil (the only Portuguese speaking country taking part), the Dominican Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Spain.

The formal opening of Latin Nights 2 will be held on June 11 at 6:30 pm. Marlene Mc Donald, Minister of Public Administration and Communications; Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs; Jose A. Serulle Romia, ambassador of the Dominican Republic and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps; and, Neil Parsanlal, Chairman of the Board of Nalis are expected to deliver remarks. The formal opening will be followed by performances by Los Alamos de San Flores

T&T’s contribution to the festival, a cocktail reception and the opening of an exhibition showcasing artefacts from all participating countries. The artefacts will be on display throughout the duration of the festival.

On June 12 at 6.30 pm, the embassy of the Dominican Republic will present merengue, a type of music and dance originating from that country which forms part of the island of Hispaniola. The award winning film Chicama will be screened at 9:30 am by the Embassy of Peru in the Audio Visual Room, National Library on June 13 and in the evening, Brazil will present Capoeira artistes.

On June 14 the embassy of Costa Rica and Cuba will present their countries’ offerings at 10 am and 6:30 pm respectively. Costa Rica’s presentation consists of workshops and the screening of films targeted to primary and secondary school students themed Our Essence Defines Us.

The Cuban classic film titled Clandestinos will be shown at the Audio Visual Room for persons of all ages. This film is a 1987 drama directed by Fernando Perez.

Chilean artist, Luis Vasquez La Roche will chat with members of the public at the News Media Room where his works will be on display on June 16 from 1 pm. The curtains will come down on Latin Nights 2 at 7 pm with performances by flamenco dancers. This show, put on by the Spanish embassy will be held at the Amphitheatre. Mexican ceramics, for which Mexico is popularly known, will be on display at that Rotunda of the library throughout Latin Nights 2.

By Act 18 on 1998, Nalis is mandated to provide library and information service, easily accessible to members of the public, in order to facilitate cultural, economic, educational, political and social development of the people of T&T. Latin Nights provides an avenue for Nalis to present information in a variety of formats towards fulfilling its mandate.


Latin Nights was first held in 2017. It was as a direct response to the increasing number of Latin Americans, particularly Venezuelans, living in T&T and visiting our libraries.

Latin Nights is a celebration of Latin culture, folklore, arts and cuisine. The event is intended to bridge cultural divides by providing an insight into the culture, literature, poetry and films of our Spanish community resident in T&T.

Last year, the embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba and El Salavdor showcased their culture through films, poetry readings, folklore and performances by indigenous dancers.

Coming out of the relationship with Latin countries, Fernando Garcia-Casas, the Secretary of State of Spain for International Cooperation and for Latin America, during his visit in July 2017 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with T&T, handed over 88 Spanish language books to Nalis “to contribute to the advancement of the Spanish Language, learning and use.”

Other embassies donating collections since Latin Nights include Peru, Guatemala and Cuba. These and other collections will form part of the Spanish Language Corner at the Port-of-Spain Adult Library.

So excited were the embassies about their new found relationship that they sought collaboration with Nalis to establish a Spanish language conversation club titled Club de Español for persons who wish to practise their Spanish. From September to December the club met every Wednesday at the National Library for one hour from 5 pm. When the second cycle started in January, the sessions were extended to two hours weekly.

Sessions are conducted by ambassadors and other embassy officials. The establishment of the club is in keeping with government’s drive to encourage the use of Spanish as our country’s second language/first foreign language.

On April 23, the Spanish Embassy in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Secretariat for the Implementation of Spanish and Nalis partnered to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day and the International Day of the Spanish Language.

Nalis is a long standing member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). At IFLA, Latin America and the Caribbean countries are grouped together to work towards a global vision to increase the region’s impact and visibility on the world-wide stage. As a consequence, Nalis enthusiastically embraces collaboration with the Latin American countries with a view to forging enduring relationships with the Latin American embassies and the respective National Libraries.

In 2001, the Hispanic Women Club of T&T, started a Bilingual Story Hour at the Children’s Library, thereby providing a foundation for the children’s second language development.

In 2003, the club, with assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank, donated a collection of Spanish language books to the Children’s Library. These books are still used by the children for their enjoyment and enrichment.

Categories: Entertainment News

The indentureship story berths at Trincity Mall

Lifestyle - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 02:40

When the ships began departing from the shores of India to Trinidad in 1845, not only did they bring just under 144,000 immigrants to these unfamiliar lands, but a mission that was already carved on the souls of these ancestors.|

The Pichakaree song composed by Raviji titled Mission to the Caribbean speaks to the deceitful plot that started in India, but faith would twist this plot into a legacy that hundreds of thousands of descendants would wake up to each morning, armed with pride for their east Indian heritage as they navigate the demands of the western world.

“There is a mystery behind indenture history

Haa Sahaib take we, from the ancient country.

Beyond Kaalaapani, only half the story

But a secret voice was singing that they need you

So ah sending you.

Ja ah sending you on a mission to the Caribbean”

Pichakaree “Mission to the Caribbean” composed by Raviji

T&T has benefitted tremendously from this mission that started in 1845. Through the physical and political abuses, the iftars, bhajans, dholaks, wearing of ‘sindoor’ (red dot worn by Hindu married women); all of which are extracts from a vast repository of east Indian culture brought by our ancestors, have largely remained intact today thanks to the efforts of each generation to preserve the Indentureship discourse.

In an attempt to capture this epic chapter of our nation’s story, the Remember When Institute of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, in collaboration with the National Archives of T&T, has facilitated a comprehensive exhibition leading up to Indian Arrival Day to honour the struggles of these ancestors at the Micles Atrium in Trincity Mall. This year marks the 173rd anniversary since this mission to the Caribbean started.

On the exhibition, Dr Nyan Gasdby-Dolly states that, “Each citizen, regardless of their origin, should venture to the Micles Atrium to feel the trepidation of these ancestors through the pages of the General Register of Indentured Immigrants, allow the energy and melody of the tabla sounds to pulse through one’s veins, and pause to reflect on the role of the East Indian community in shaping a thumbprint that is unique to Trinidad and Tobago.”

The exhibition runs until Saturday, and members of the public seeking to learn more about the relics or information displayed can contact 225-4023.

Categories: Entertainment News

Alta students write

Lifestyle - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 02:37

In celebration of Alta’s 25th anniversary, Alta students around the country were asked to write about the impact the organisation has had on their lives. Since 1992, Alta has provided classes around the country for thousands of Trinidadians who struggle with reading and writing.

Alta students enrol in the programme at many different levels of literacy and leave when they have accomplished their literacy goals. While it is difficult to manage work and family life alongside Alta classes, students continue to persevere and in all cases see changes in their lives after attending Alta classes.

In the coming weeks, Alta will share their pieces through this column. This week, two students from Tranquility Government Secondary School venue share how Alta has impacted their lives.

Student name: Leotta Walters

“I am an Alta success story. I was born in Jamaica and came to Trinidad at age 17. I came to meet my mom who came to Trinidad when I was 11. Between that time, I had to take care of myself and got caught up with the wrong crowd. I gambled and had a lot of friends because I made big money. My mom got ill and my job did not allow me to take care of her properly so I had to hire assistance to take care of her, that’s when I met Debra.

Debra noticed my reading problem and encouraged me to sign up to Alta classes. I used to call everyone because I couldn’t read or write text messages. Now! I can read and write! Praise the Lord. My life has changed the things I used to do, the places I used to go it’s no more. I lost all the friends I had who were after my money. I’m part of the family and found new friends. They are a bunch of faithful, caring people I can call my family. They always make themselves available to help me.”

Student name: Angelie

“I came to Alta so that I can read and to be a better person. When I started Alta I was so afraid the teacher will not be good to me so I used to be shy to let them know my problem but they knew what to look for so they can help you to read.

I continue to come to my class every day. Then I expect my life will get some great help.

This has turned out so wonderful for me. It help me to go into my own business and it also makes me count my money and write up my books for myself every week so I will be able to check how much a money

I make. I can help my grandsons when we are going out. He will ask me the name of something when we are passing in the maxi taxi.

And it gives you a lot of knowledge. I will be to go on in life a lot better so when any one gives me a paper to read I will read it out loud for they all can hear me read to my best ability.”

Volunteer, Donate or Sponsor-a-student. Call 621-5708 or email [email protected] for more info. Keep up to date with ALTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: ALTA

Categories: Entertainment News

Scholarship named after exemplary deceased cop

Lifestyle - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 02:36

After an outstanding career in the T&T Police Service, retired detective Inspector Lance Aaron Lashley died on September 23, 2016, but his impact on community and family life is remembered.

The Lashley family will like to continue the legacy of Lashley, who was committed to helping at-risk male youths from East Port-of-Spain improve their lives, and has established the Lance Aaron Lashley Memorial High School Scholarship, to be awarded to two students with academic potential, and financial need, who will be entering high school.

Lashley’s sister, US-domiciled Professor Lynette Lashley said: “Lance believed that educational opportunity, was key to steering at-risk males away from crime. The two students selected will each receive $2,500 to help with the purchase of uniforms, textbooks, and school supplies, as well as a laptop computer.

“We have selected Nelson Street Boys’ RC Elementary School for these awards. We will like you to attend the presentations at the National Library and Information System of Trinidad and Tobago (Nalis) on June 29, from 10 am to noon.”

Among some of Lashley’s strategies to reach at-risk male youth, was becoming an honorary member of City Sun Valley, an East Port-of-Spain community youth steelband situated in Nelson Street

This enabled him, first-hand, to meet, mentor, motivate, and counsel the players and supporters, to focus on staying in school to obtain an education, instead of turning to crime. He would often help some of them, financially, to purchase textbooks, and other school supplies.

Lashley was also a visble figure, especially at Panorama in the Queen’s Park Savannah, offering security services for reigning National Panorama champion bpTT Renegades.

When Project Reason was formed in Trinidad, in 2015, Lashley joined the organisation, and worked as a Violence Interrupter, to help thwart crime among at-risk youth in East Port-of-Spain. Project Reason used the Chicago Cure Violence Method which employs methods and strategies associated with disease control—detecting and interrupting conflict, identifying and changing social norms. He worked there, up to the time of his passing. Crime had been reduced in those areas by over 85 per cent. Unfortunately, the organisation is now defunct.

Lynette added: “Although Lance is no longer with us, we are determined to keep his legacy alive. We would appreciate it if Lance’s former colleagues in the police service, and even present police officers who never met or knew him would attend on June 29.”

Categories: Entertainment News

We all need to learn to suspend judgment

Lifestyle - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 01:10

As I approached the team-building exercise at the St Mary’s Children’s Home last week, all I could consider was the importance of the term and principle called suspending judgment. It is an element—a virtue, even—so necessary for good interpersonal relationships as for good marriages, child rearing and any other human situation of relationship building.

For my own wellbeing, growth and maturity and as a deliberate action to improve my empathy for others, I have been practicing suspending judgment. The benefits are amazing.

When I see a situation, I try to take it in the moment and use only the current and available values to inform my treatment of the people involved. If I do not do that I may make assumptions, without merit, about the people involved or the situation itself. Then I can walk away from that situation contented that I have a proper assessment, which I really do not have.

And in the culture that surrounds me, the next time I engage that situation, say in a conversation with others, in pure “Trini” conduct, you may well hear me speak as an expert on the situation/subject and with confidence too, enough to convince others that I know the facts; I am well informed.

Every now and then though, as with old habits, I still find myself defaulting to being too quick (and definitely out of place) to judge situations and people. I’m usually guilt-pricked because I have come to realise how often rushing to judgment served me nothing good.

Simply defined, suspending judgment speaks to withholding an opinion until there is sufficient information.

And, I am realising that it is still possible to rush to unfair judgments even with the appropriate amount of information. It’s a human erring, I find too, that it is related to my own or a person’s self-esteem.

Quite often rushing to judgment has more to do with a ones own shortcomings. We are socialised to be better or at least to pretend to be better than the other person. We are taught to mostly look at others and make judgment calls without much consideration for our own position. That unhealthy desire to be better is the impetus for judgment and gossip, also.

My mother—bless her sleeping soul—was the queen of adages. It was her quickest way to deliver her messages and warnings to us when she had a lesson to give or a point to make.

“Monkey can’t see he own tail” she would say as a way to tell you that your problems are as much as, or even worse that the other person you are criticising. She was usually right and if you took to her lesson and begin looking at or for your own “tail”; and if you were sufficiently honest or simply brave enough, you would begin to look at your own shortcomings and hopefully that could bring some humility to your judgmental heart, mouth, and spirit.

We as a people, are given to very strong opinions on things we do not really know. How often have you heard people pronounce on matters using hearsay as their best reference? I have heard some loud-mouthed arguments in my time from people I know to be uneducated on the point but speaking with shocking authority.

Very often too, we use myths and misunderstanding to cast judgment on people. I teach that very often when I am trying to give people a perspective on why we should not be too quick to judge people’s conduct/behaviour/situation, and especially be brazen enough to diagnose others with illnesses of which they/we know nothing.

Judging others promotes misunderstanding but also supports the bigotry to which we have grown accustomed. We are a people very quick to diagnose others and pronounce on them. We are so unafraid to make judgments of others but if we understand anything about the consequences of rushing to judgment we can become better people and so promote better communities - in the home, village, workplace or nation. 

Steve Pavlina speaks about suspending judgement and puts it like this in his blog: “Whenever I write about certain topics, especially those that seem contrary to mainstream conditioning, some people voice very strong opinions. They communicate their thoughts with a high degree of certainty, as if adopting the posture of an expert.

“However, upon further inspection, it becomes readily apparent that most of these people have little or no direct experience upon which to base their opinions. Their knowledge of such subjects can hardly be classified as knowledge at all, since it’s derived largely from non-primary sources like media conditioning, third-party rumours, and supposition.” https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2010/06/suspending-judgment/ That is so common in our community. That elixir of ignorance and coupled confidence and deep (without basis) conviction make for a society without compassion, without empathy, without grace and graciousness in the affairs of others. It signifies to me a depth of ignorance about living in this world. It exposes the lack of mindfulness in which we live—not dealing appropriately with the moment in the moment but rather, using our injured self and broken experiences to rush to the judgment of others.

CAROLINE C RAVELLO is a strategic communications and media professional and a public health practitioner. She holds an MA with Merit in Mass Communications (University of Leicester) and is a Master of Public Health With Distinction (UWI). Write to:
[email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News


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