Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
The famous Jamaican bulla is the national pastry - well not quite - but if Patricia Roberts, director general of the Jamaica Library Service, has her way, that would be the case.
Speaking on Thursday, at the launch of Jamaica Day, at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library on Tom Redcam Drive, the director, in expressing pleasure at the theme for the year: 'Celebrating Jamaica, Feasting on Our Heritage'; also explained that bulla was in her DNA.
Jamaica Day is celebrated in schools and the institutions are expected to showcase all things Jamaican. The day will be celebrated on February 25.
The launch was marked by two songs and speeches from various stakeholders of the Culture in Education Programme (CIEP) in the Core Curriculum Unit of the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Andrew Holness, minister of education, was on hand to declare the official launch of Jamaica Day 2011. But before making the proclamation, the minister seemed to go off script to speak about culture.
"Culture is a means of communication. It does not mean any form of process. It is a shared value system. Culture is not stagnant, it is dynamic," said Holness.
"Punctuality and courtesy are part of a culture; we need to transform culture to punctuality," the minister explained, as an example of how culture can change.
Holness concluded his abbreviated speech by saying that the MOE would draw the line on negative aspects of Jamaican culture.
Amina Blackwood Meeks, director of CIEP, who also acted as MC, pointed to the rapid growth of Jamaica Day. At first there were 11 schools and then it grew to 302, and now it is mandatory for schools. She envisions a Jamaica Day with flags on all buildings. She hopes that schools will use the day to explore heritage of food and how people in the agricultural sector, the arts and culture will drive Jamaica.
This year's focus school is the Sydney Pagon Agriculture High School in St Elizabeth.
Marlene Gayle, vice-principal of Sydney Pagon, told The Sunday Gleaner at the launch, that the day would begin with a devotion and the hoisting of the Jamaican flag, a display of food from coconut, a storytelling segment, a concert and more.
Entertainment for the launch was provided by young Leandre Sadler of Jessie Ripoll Primary School.