Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Culture and Education

Ever wondered what it meant to be educated? If you are like most people you would probably cite the attainment of degrees,CXC's,GCE's and the like and be fairly correct since it is the yardstick commonly used.Last Friday at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown the audience was given a whole new definition of what education was.According to feature speaker Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool to be educated is to be bathed in the refinements of your culture.He went on to say that if that factor is missing all the other achievements are really meaningless.I thought this was quite a thought provoking sentence and something I find myself in agreement with.

I think we first have to understand the definition of culture.For me it is the soul of a people,the way of life and the sense of identity.A knowledge of your culture makes one aware of whence they came and gives an understanding of the factors which shape us.Therefore,in a Vincentian situation if one does not know about the struggle of the Garifuna peoples led by Carib Chief Joseph Chatoyer are we really educated? I would say no since we would be unaware of a significant part of our history and the reverence with which the Garifuna peoples of Belize and other Central American countries hold this island.If we understood the significance of the struggle we would be proud of Chatoyer instead of being perturbed that a half naked man(seen pictured in his loincloth) was chosen as the island's first national hero.The ignorance all goes back to the lack of interest by the nation's leaders in ensuring that our history is taught.

He therefore insisted that teachers look beyond just the emphasis on their particular discipline.Instead an effort should be made to impart lessons of our history to the children we come in contact with.It may mean that we may have to educate ourselves but it is as necessary as the air we breathe.The underlying theme that stood out throughout the whole lecture was the need to be proud of ourselves for who we are,what we have overcome and what we achieved.Thank you Chalkdust,we needed the reminder.

Post a picture of Chatoyer please. Would love to see what folks are getting fussed about.
This is a true statement....

"To be educated is to be bathed in the refinements of your culture".

Nuff said!

I tried posting it but it didn't work.Try a google image search of Joseph Chatoyer
I went searching for more information about him and found a post you did back in Oct 2004!!

i agree with chalkie. good post
Your post invokes thoughts of the education system and if educators today give a hoot about history, culture, identity, etc. Most educators now are just about making a salary and do not have the genuine interest of children at heart to teach them wholistically.
My french friend tells me Chatoyer means "eyes like a cat " (chat : cat " ) The verb chatoyer in french means to "shine"or to reflect the light like cat's eyes usually when you refer to precious stones or shiny materials .I often wonder where Pagett farm folks in Bequia get their green eyes from ? I wonder if Chatoyer was given his name because he had these green eyes ? And why has this illustrious carib Chief not got a name of carib origin ?
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