Sarai Hutchinson (left), and Tchaikovski York (right)

Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 27, 2018 (SKNIS): The Governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan), came in for high praise when members of the Cayon Pantastic Steel Orchestra, lifted their voices in thanks and appreciation for the opportunity given to the 17-member team that journeyed to Taiwan to engage in a cultural exchange.

“Our trip to Taiwan was very much appreciated. It allowed us to experience something that I never thought I would in my lifetime. It really made me think about school choices and the future on a whole. I think that we should try to learn the Taiwanese (their language) and their songs as well so as to broaden our culture. By doing that, we will have different cultures added to our already cultural melting pot,” said Sarai Hutchinson. “I would like to thank Ambassador Jasmine Huggins for this opportunity, as well as the governments of both countries.”

Ms. Hutchinson said that getting to experience the culture was more than enough to be thankful for, and touched on the way things are done in Taiwan in terms of order at the train and bus stations just to name a few. She added that for her, experiencing another culture will help to expand the cultural background in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Tchaikovski York shared the same sentiments, noting that a number of things stood out for him including the food and music.

“We played at primary and secondary schools and we played one of the favourite songs ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’. The feedback was great, wonderful I must say. Everyone was smiling, they were happy and that made me feel accomplished to know and see that they enjoyed our performance,” said Mr. York.

The Honourable Shawn Richards, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, said that it is more than likely that cultural exchanges like these will emerge and the government will be more than happy to facilitate groups and individuals within the cultural sector.

“Future exchanges are very much possible. As a matter of fact when this particular one was contemplated we looked at the possibility of sending some other folklore groups as part of the delegation to Taiwan, however, we had to limit the numbers because of financial restraints,” he said. “Therefore, it is very much possible that perhaps next year one of the groups which had been considered to attend this year would be given the opportunity to do so.”

He said that from a cultural standpoint exchanges such as these are to be “able to expose nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis who are interested in different aspects” of the Federation’s culture to a different culture, for them to travel overseas and perform for others and see the talents of others.