Premiere of the Documentary
"Ten Days of Muharram: The Cedros Hosay"
Wednesday 8th May, 2013
Screen 8, Movie Towne
DR. THE HONOURABLE LINCOLN DOUGLAS
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my honour to address you at the Premiere of the Documentary "Ten Days of Muharram: The Cedros Hosay". The wonderful work that you are about to witness is evidence that the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is serious about the protection and promotion of the intangible cultural heritage of Trinidad and Tobago. We are steadfast in our vision to foster and ensure an environment where the diverse cultures of Trinidad and Tobago can flourish in a spirit of understanding, tolerance and harmony.
"Ten Days of Muharram: The Cedros Hosay" is a brainchild of the Culture Division and I must applaud the Director of Culture, Mrs. Ingrid Ryan-Ruben, and her hard working team for making this feature a reality. The Documentary focuses on the genesis, religious influences, traditions of preparation and community involvement around the Hosay festival, with particular emphasis on the celebrations in Cedros, Bonasse, Fullerton, Bois Bourg and Icacos.
"Ten Days of Muharram: The Cedros Hosay" was inspired by a series of Tassa Camps conducted by the Ministry in collaboration with the National Tassa Association in 2011. These Camps catered primarily to youths in Cedros and environs and also facilitated meaningful interaction and dialogue with the Cedros Hosay Association and the people of the community. The strong sense of pride and commitment to preserving the tradition of Hosay became evident. Also striking was the complete involvement of all persons regardless of race, religion or age. We felt that the richness of the festival was not only in the outcome but more so in the process. This Documentary captures the intricate processes and rituals involved in the Hosay festival of Cedros.
Hosay is a very important festival celebrated in communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago, such as Sangre Grande, Brazil/Talparo, Arouca, Tacarigua, Tunapuna, Curepe, San Juan, St. James, Cunupia, Chaguanas, Couva, Princes Town and Cedros. The observances have Islamic roots which were brought to our shores with the arrival of East Indian indentured labourers in 1845. Today, the festival has become a national symbol of cultural identity. Therefore, the documenting and recording of the Hosay celebrations in Cedros is of national significance and a monumentally important addition to the national archives.
The Ministry, in its role as Executive Producer, contracted the immensely talented Che Rodriguez who wrote and directed the one hour forty-six minute long feature. Let us put our hands together and show our appreciation to Mr Rodriguez for the Documentary you are about to see.
I am firmly of the belief that Trinidad and Tobago possesses talent that can rival any film industry in the world. Not only have we produced some of the most critically acclaimed writers but we also created some of the most brilliant actors and actresses. The film industry is ready for investment. I therefore urge the private sector to invest in the potential that abounds within the cultural and creative industry of Trinidad and Tobago.
I promise you that "Ten Days of Muharram: The Cedros Hosay" is just the beginning. As we continue to reach out to our stakeholders we will seek viable strategies and methods to actively document the rich cultural history of our blessed nation. I would like to thank once more the Director of Culture, Mrs. Ingrid Ryan-Ruben, the Culture Division, Che Rodriguez, the Cedros Hosay Association and the people of Cedros who agreed to participate in the creation of this documentary. Your participation has added immeasurable value to this feature and will serve to educate future generations on the culture of Cedros and indeed, the culture of Trinidad and Tobago.
Thank You, and enjoy the Documentary "Ten Days of Muharram: The Cedros Hosay".