Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Technical, cultural flaws spoiled event

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Last Wednesday, I witnessed in the flesh my very first Grand Gala celebration, as I'm not one for the crowd. However, my cousins were participating in the production (somewhat of a production) and I decided to go in support.

I am a Jamaican. When I say that, I mean I am proud to be a Jamaican, NOT only when Usain Bolt is tearing up the tracks or when Tessanne Chin won 'The Voice'. I'm the Jamaican that will pay to see the Reggae Boyz play to qualify for World Cup, and I`m not even a fan of football. I'm a Jamaican when our name is being plastered in the international news that we are scammers. I'm a Jamaican when our crime rate is high (hope it goes down). I'm not saying I'm proud of the violence and crime. I'm saying I'm still proud to be a Jamaican, even when evil continues to blight our nation. So I hope you understand my frustration after attending the gala.

My family and I waited in line for more than an hour just to get inside the stadium, only to join another line once inside.

There was poor sound quality at Gate 8. Shortly after the celebrations started, the speakers stopped working. So we didn't hear Minister Lisa Hanna's speech and a few other items. After about 40 minutes of silence, the speakers started to work (for about five minutes), then all we could hear were sounds like that of a scratched CD.


In my opinion, there was hardly anything 'cultural' about this year's celebration. It lacked the wow factor, and some of the songs that were played throughout the event were inappropriate. What was cultural about the imitation of 'Tutty-Gran Rosie'? Where was belly woman? I guess she's finally in labour after all these years. Where was tall man? I guess the stadium walls had a height limit this year.

I can remember my aunt talking with excitement about Grand Gala when she was younger, and being in the St Anne's band. How Grand Gala never missed her. How even the steps were crowded with people. I want to experience that. I want to tell my kids and grandkids about my Grand Galas. How we danced in the stadium and sang our Redemption Song.

Please! Don't cause us to get to the place where we hear of Grand Gala and would rather go elsewhere than to celebrate together with our fellow countrymen.