Editorial: Keeping traditions alive while starting new ones
Sunday, September 16th, 2012
One for the most valuable gifts we can give our younger generation is the preservation of culture. While children can find history to be a bore, it is possible to ‘sneak in’ parts of our heritage by engaging them in activities such as art, dance, song, folklore and festive celebrations that not only entertain but infuse their imaginations with the essence of ancestry. It is not only the children that benefit; as an adult it is always fun to relive such traditions when we find ourselves reminiscing about cultural practices we once celebrated with family and friends. And as a community, when we come together to witness and partake in these activities it can restore our sense of kinship and solidarity. These traditions are the foundation of our ethnic society, and even though they may still live on in our hearts they sometimes need to be taken out, dusted off and polished into a current, not a past, memory.
Unfortunately life today has little time for ‘living in the past’ and cultures across the world are finding their languages diminished, their stories and songs forgotten and their traditions lost. It now takes a concentrated level of awareness to keep these signatures of heritage alive and in San Pedro we now have The San Pedro Cultural Committee, chaired by San Pedro Town Counselor Mito Paz, to help resurrect and celebrate our colorful ancestry while keeping it alive. From organizing Mestizo traditional dance workshops, to sponsoring a Costa Rican theater group performance, to holding reggae full-moon concerts, to artisan shows in the park, to celebrating the traditional “La Alborada”, the committee has worked hard to not only remind us of our culture but to embrace it. On September 9th the committee hosted the first ever Tribute to the Baymen Festival at Central Park, and what a blast it was. With school groups competing in a Battle of the Drums competition, to live music from very talented local musicians and entertaining dance performances, the community was out in full force, with many saying, “Finally we have a celebration for the 10th of September”!
We are fortunate to have a committee that is now working to keep our traditions alive while starting new ones that will hopefully live on for many years. The next time you hear of a program sponsored by The San Pedro Cultural Committee you owe it to yourself to come out and enjoy the fun, this is what community is all about, be a part of it and help preserve a heritage we are all proud of!