Feb 26, 2017 Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom

 A great many of those who were “wining down” and “backballing” on Republic Day do not realize the influence of their actions. They do not view the vulgar displays of last Thursday as being associated with low morals. For them, it is simply having a good time.
People are free to have a good time, but they also have a duty to not to contaminate the morals of the young children who are watching on. The revelers do not appreciate how their actions are impacting on public morals and the influence it is having on the younger generation.
One man told me that he has asked his family not to have the children at the Mash Day parade ever again, because he is not happy about the vulgarity and skimpy clothing.
Children need to be protected from the vulgar displays which were seen on Mash Day. If that is going to be the norm, then it is time that the organizers advise that Mash Day is an x-rated event for adults only. Children should not be allowed to see that sort of thing.
Something needs to be done about Mashramani. It is the same thing repeating itself each year. There is a great deal of sexual suggestiveness about the gyrating, and of course, the clothing at times can be too skimpy for young children.
Mashramani needs to be re-designated as X-rated entertainment, at least the Mash Day Float Parade. There were things on this year’s parade which were not intended for young children’s eyes. It was shameful that our young children, many of them sitting in the uncomfortable stands at D’Urban Park with limited roof covering, had to see some of the things which they saw. The kids should not be in the parade nor should they be watching the parade unless it is cleaned up.
Many groups have tried and failed to clean up Mash. The religious community tried for a few years to demonstrate clean entertainment but they were overwhelmed by the numbers who were prepared to be lewd and crude.
It is time to re-conceptualize Mashramani. It is disappointing enough that we cannot be original. It is disgraceful that we have to copy what the islands of the Caribbean are doing. It makes no sense for Guyana’s national festival to be mimicking what other countries in the Caribbean are doing.
We need to be doing our own things. We need clean entertainment. We need to be able to think clearly about what Mashramani is, and what we want it to be like. If it is simply going to be another carnival, then we must lift its standards both artistically and morally.
If we clean up our national festival, perhaps we may end up having more visitors. The vast majority of the people in the world are looking for clean, wholesome entertainment. There are those who enjoy the sin tourism, but the vast majority of people want to have something which the entire family can enjoy.
The problem that Guyana faces is that the Mash Day Parade cannot be cleaned up that easily. Government should not be spending so much money to sponsor an event which many parents are afraid for their children to see. The situation has just gone too far. Some of the clothing that was on display was atrocious to say the least.
It is time for serious introspection as to if this is what we want for our children. It was not pleasant at all to see, during the Children’s Mash Day Parade, some of the children trying to outdo their adult counterparts in terms of the “wining”. Are we really serious in this country?
What was more disappointing was that some schools actually had their own parade the day before Mash Day. You would have thought that after the Children’s Parade was over, this would have been the end of the participation of schools, and that the children would have been concentrating on their work in preparation for the Easter examinations in one month’s time. But no, some schools had their own parade on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Education needs to do something about this. Once the Children’s Mash Parade is over, children should get back to their books.
The government needs to decide whether it will continue to sponsor the Float Parade and Mash Day events, because what is on display is mainly adult entertainment on a day designed for the entire family.