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Patriotism Week to focus on instilling national pride
The Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration is hoping to instill national pride in citizens by introducing Patriotism Week which will run from today to March 24. The media launch for Patriotism Week was held last Friday at Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi’s office in St Clair, Port-of-Spain.
Delivering the feature address was junior minister in the ministry Embau Moheni who said one of the mandates of the ministry was to foster patriotism among citizens in order to develop the strength, courage and commitment needed to further develop T&T. Moheni said T&T had a great deal to be proud about with locals having excelled in sport, arts, academics and politics.
Despite this, he added, the country experienced worrying trends, such as the prevalence of violent crimes, failure to protect the environment and poor work ethic among citizens. Moheni said it was his hope that Patriotism Week would motivate citizens to make a positive change in T&T as it launches into the next fifty years of independence. He said: “We challenge our nation as we pray and we hope that this patriotism drive will instill in us a love for country which in essence is a love for self and a love for each other.”
He said the ministry handed over 25 acres of land to members of the local Amerindian community to create a heritage village. He said the ministry, through the National Archives of T&T, the National Trust and the National Museum and Art Gallery would continue to “use heritage as a vehicle for patriotism”. Moheni said in fostering patriotism it was important to recognise the contributions of all citizens regardless of their cultural, geographical and educational backgrounds.
Patriotism Week is set to include the launch of a national mascot competition, national flag giveaways as well as the launch of the Flag In Every Home Competition. On Friday, the ministry will launch a monthly patriotism day urging citizens to wear the national colours. The ministry will also encourage workplaces to undertake one hour of patriotic activities on the designated day of each month. Moheni said this could include singing cultural songs or hosting in-house competitions among employees.
There will also be a heritage walk on Saturday at the Queen’s Park Savannah as well as a Trinbago Pride Concert at the Jean Pierre Complex on Sunday. Moheni said he knew Patriotism Week was merely “one small step towards building and rebuilding this sense of patriotism” in T&T but said the effort required participation by other government ministries, private organisation and schools.
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