Thursday, 23rd of February, Guyana celebrated Mashramani. It’s marks the anniversary of Guyana becoming a republic in 1970. The highlight of the day is a carnival parade, which took place this year on Irving Street with a variety of food and drink stalls on Vlissingen road. The government of Guyana is reputed to have injected $30 million Guyanese dollars into the celebrations and floats.
It was our first time and the sun was relentless all of the time it took for the parade to actually begin, after almost 12 pm. The event attracted families who laid mats on the grassy sidewalks and camped with picnic luncheons, sodas and beer.
It was lovely to see people let their hair down a bit and just revel in the spirit of Mash ! The word Mashramani, by the way, is derived from an Amerindian language, which translates into ‘celebration of a job well done’.
And the celebrations were riotously fun for the participants of the parade, or so it seemed. They were dancing all the way down the street, engaging in energetic manoeuvres and suggestive pelvic thrusts. This being faciliated by a lot of hard liquour mixed with iced sodas. But, that was probably to make up for the distress of waiting in the hot sun for ages before the organizers gave the go ahead.
A lot of simulated fornication was part of the proceedings among the dancers. People took it all in stride and some of it was indeed hilarious and sometimes suspiciously real looking.
Vendors had set up stalls for barbecued meat, chips and drinks. The crowds were thronging and we had managed to secure a parking spot much earlier in the day.
The pulsating music, the revelries, all lasted through the night where many night clubs and restaurants were hosting their own Mash specials.
Here are some of the pictures of the gala, enjoy !