Carnival has always been about negotiation of gendered and sexual power. Think of jamettes’ long confrontation with middle-class and religious expectations of respectability.
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PM: Symptoms of ungodliness in T&T
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the week of prayer now taking place in the country is a demonstration of T&T’s belief in the supremacy of God and that knowledge fills her with profound joy. She was speaking at the launch of the National Week of Prayer organised by the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration and the Inter-Religious Organisation of T&T.
The event was prompted by the shocking level of crime and lawlessness pervading the land. National Diversity Minister Rodger Samuel told the gathering of Baptists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and other faiths that the preamble to the Constitution states that T&T believes in the supremacy of God. “Therefore, it is essential to turn back to God in times of trouble for supreme guidance,” he said.
Persad-Bissessar said the event was a recognition of the value of prayer as an important component in the lives of citizens. “At a personal level, prayer has always been important to me. I urge every woman, man and child, to commit to daily prayers for this week, and beyond. Pray in whatever way you know,” she said. “God, as our parent, knows us and accepts our prayers when we do it with love and sincerity. When you pray from your heart, God listens.”
The prime minister said T&T is going through a difficult period caused by greed, lawlessness, a lack of respect for elders, the abuse of children and a focus on materialism. “These are symptoms of ungodliness,” she said. “I ask you to reflect on where this is taking us and make a commitment to make prayer a part of your daily family life. “If we, as a nation, make that commitment, we would suddenly see the effect of prayer on our society. Persad-Bissessar asked the gathering to pray specifically for six things:
• A reduction in crime
• For families to live in harmony
• Protection of the environment
• National leaders
• Harmony in diversity
• The spiritual revival of all
The session began with Ricardo Bharath Hernandez of the Santa Rosa First People appealing to the “great spirit” to defeat all the negativity and sorrow in the land and to reveal its root. Prayers were offered by representatives of the Catholic, Bahai, Orisha, Hindu and Muslim faiths.
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