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Campers from the Nariva/Mayaro District with their presentation showing Chinese influence.

The Junior Best Village category of the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition ended on a high note, with the Best Village Extravaganza on Wednesday July 27, 2016 at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA).  This year’s programme was held under the theme, “Understanding Our Multi-ethnic Society – Knowledge is Key.”

The event got underway with elaborate displays, showing a wide variety of craft items, Chinese and Creole cuisine, tye-dye and batik designs all representing the influences of our early ancestors including the Amerindians, Africans, Chinese, East Indians, Portuguese and Syrian/ Lebanese.

Dr, The Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, along with Permanent Secretary, Angela Edwards, Gwendolyn Salick, Co-ordinator of the Best Village Programme and Susan Corbett, Director, Community Development Division, toured the various booths and interacted with the participants and teachers.    Students of the Nariva/Mayaro and St Patrick West Districts welcomed the Minister with songs representing the Chinese and African cultures respectively and also invited them to sample some of the traditional food dishes which they learned to prepare during the camps.

Later, in her address to campers, Minister Gadsby-Dolly pointed out that “Education will light your way.  Without it, you will never, never get through.  Success or failure is up to you.”  This was followed by a cultural show in which campers from each District performed songs, dances, drumming and monologues of our early ancestors and their influence on Trinidad and Tobago.

The Districts and their presentations were as follows:

  • Caroni South – Amerindians (First Peoples)
  • St Andrew/St David – Portuguese Influence in Trinidad and Tobago
  • St Patrick East – Spanish Heritage
  • St George West – French Heritage
  • St Patrick West – African History
  • Victoria East – Things of the Past
  • Nariva/Mayaro – Chinese influence
  • Caroni North – Syrian/Lebanese influence in Trinidad and Tobago
  • St George East – From Fatel Razack to Cane Fields
  • Victoria West – The Treasure of a Nation

The exhibition and cultural show was the culmination of ten (10) Best Village Camps held at venues across the country from July 11 to 22, 2016.   A total of nine hundred and sixty (960) children between the ages of 6 and 16 years participated in the camps, aimed primarily at fostering an understanding of the people of Trinidad and Tobago among our youth.

It is the only non-competitive category of the Best Village competition, which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts.

Campers from St Andrew/St David perform a traditional wedding during their presentation of “A Portuguese Affair.”