Did Barbados choose the wrong date for Independence? National holiday competes with crass commercialism each year, appears like losing uphill battle…

In Scotland, the thirtieth of November is St Andrew’s day but for the sunny Caribbean subsidiary of Barbados, it is officially when this island-state broke off most ties with England who held here as a colony for the last 383 years or so. I am curious when independence was bright, shiny and new if there was a clash even then with the looming onslaught of Christmas?

Here's one of the most innovative ideas to include Christmas and Independence - an Independence Tree! Three of them at the Lanterns Mall in Hastings which will stay right through Christmas, patriotism and business savvy cooperating fully!

This year in October there were two harsh blows for merchants – Bajans caught off guard for preparing for Hurricane Tomas and the death of the late Prime Minister David J.H. Thompson. So people rushed around conducting repairs, and making State Funeral plans with shops asked to remain closed until 1:00 pm on the day of the interment.

This was essentially three weeks of time which could have been spent paying Lip Service to Independence, instead activities for one reason and the next were severely curtailed, then the Budget happened! Oh Lordy, now look at my crosses – as older Bajans like to mutter in times of hardship, what do we do?

What would Jesus do? Whip out some plastic or get a bull-pizzle and chase the money-changers?

I can see the business community gathering and deciding something along these lines… “Let we forget Independence and done, go straight to Christmas! Folks going to say we would jook out them eye, so we keep costs at same level before new VAT comes into being, by January they ain’t gonna spend much anyhow – so we can work out the difference between the 17.5% to the old 15% addition in early 2011, then decide what margin for profit thereafter, the important thing is to use Bajan’s religious hypocrisy to make a good end of 2010 for we selves and done!

Ganzee's at Norman Centre on Broad street is another place which prminently acknowledged Barbados' birthday in their front window even in the middle of December, why should this be an exception and not the rule? Are we Bajan or residents of Bethlehem/North Pole?

Now I am not saying this really happened, but over the years, there seems to be an ongoing battle to decide to be patriotic or to be commercial – this year except what seemed for two places; the use of religion as a generator of profit more than won out. Some folk think either Independence’s Anniversary should be changed or start celebrations from Nov. 1 to at least the 23rd, so we have some semblance of National Pride, what do YOU think??

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  1. I love Independence celebrations and commend the authorities for doing their best to keep it alive. It also gives Barbadians the chance to hear old local songs that would otherwise not be played. But I love Christmas too. However, as someone said, Christmas, with all the preparations that go into it, seems to come every 1/2 year, in jest, I’ve decided that I too will alternate the celebrations of each i.e. celebrate Independence one year and Christmas the next! LOL


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