Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 13, 2017 (SKNIS): Director of Culture, Mr. Troy Mills, is of the view that while nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis should embrace the culture of other nations, the local culture must be preserved.
Mr. Mills, addressing the subject of cultural diversity on the government’s radio and television programme “Working For You” on January 11, said that generally, nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis are embracing the cultural diversity that the twin-island federation is currently experiencing. He suggested that while there will be a few persons who do not embrace cultural diversity, most nationals respect the multiplicity of cultures in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“When we have these other cultures coming and mixing up, it’s important that we the elder ones lead from the front,” Mr. Mills said.
However, he cautioned citizens against losing their national cultural identity, while embracing cultural diversity.
“What we have to be extremely careful about is that we embrace others, while at the same time letting go of ours,” he said. “Even before we had the influx of the Chinese, the Indians, the Africans, the Dominican Republicans, Jamaicans, Barbadians, Trinidadians, Guyanese, Windward Islanders…we had a challenge with the culture—Cable TV. We see what the Americans are doing and we try doing it here. It became enshrined in our culture,” Director Mills said.
In the meantime, he called on nationals to embrace and respect the national culture, which would help them embrace other cultures.
“Different nationalities are coming in (here) but we are also going out and we are not just going to the English speaking Caribbean. A lot of Kittitians and Nevisians are living in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic….at the end of the day, we as a Kittitian and Nevisian people have to understand our culture, we have to respect it, we have to live it, we have to share it with other people and we have to embrace other people’s culture,” Mr. Mills explained.
The Director of the Department of Culture said that it is up to families and schools to teach and train children how to love and embrace the culture of St. Kitts and Nevis. He suggested that this should be inculcated at the primary school level so that children become knowledgeable about and develop a deep respect of the national culture by the time they graduate to the high school level.