EDITORIAL: Be patriotic citizens
WE are already into the 11th month of the year – the month of November. By now, the switch has been flipped following the Lighting Ceremony in Heroes Square, The City, to signal the commencement of a whole month of activities, as we celebrate our 51st Anniversary of Independence. Look sharp, November 30, Independence Day, will be right around the corner.
Last year, for our 50th Anniversary, Barbadians really pulled out all the stops and patriotism seemed to be at an all-time high. During the month, great focus was placed on all things “Bajan” and Barbadians seemed to be a bit more patriotic that year, than the year prior and even the previous year. They realised perhaps, that something big was on the horizon. While we have passed our 50th Anniversary of Independence, which indeed was something to celebrate, Barbadians should still embrace this November month with some vigour and enthusiasm and truly be patriotic citizens for the island’s 51st Anniversary. Indeed, we should still be riding on last year’s wave and we should really uphold our motto of “Pride and Industry”.
Whilst some Barbadians do place flags on their automobile, wear national colours leading up to Independence Day and decorate their workplaces and businesses, we need to do more individually and collectively as well, during the month of November, to truly send the message that we are indeed proud to be citizens of this democratic country. Even with elections around the corner, and the political gloves ready to swing, we must remember that we must strive to be good citizens and truly try to do what is in the best interest of our country.
On the business end, little by little, throughout the month, we will see some companies leaning towards Independence themes and promotions. Some local stores usually do their bit by advertising Barbadian T-shirts and other forms of memorabilia, to encourage Barbadians to purchase these items early, so that they can show just how proud they are of their country to their fellow Barbadians and the world.
Of course, each and every year when November rolls around, there is usually a debate which relates to those companies who choose to skip the Independence celebrations and move straight into the Christmas festivities. We understand that companies and businesses have to focus on making a profit and as such, there is a push to get out of the blocks ahead of others in promoting offerings for the Christmas period, which can be a big money earner. However, there is nothing wrong with offering Independence specials or hosting Independence activities to draw customers in, just as these businesses would do during the Christmas period. Local businesses producing local products should also recognise that they can use the Independence period to push their locally-made quality products and encourage more Barbadians to buy local.
So as we roll right into our Independence festivities, let us all consider how we can make this country Barbados better, during this month. What can we change at the level of our homes, our schools, our churches, our communities to ensure that we remain “loyal sons and daughters”, “write our names on history’s page”, remain “strict guardians of our heritage” and “craftsmen of our fate”?