What’s with… Halloween in Mudland?

Now, growing up in Guyana — as if we didn’t have enough “jumbles”, “Dutchmen”, “Moon Gazers” and assorted “Ole Higues” to keep us in a state of heightened panic at nights – over the last few years, your Eyewitness has sadly observed some folks starting to observe the American “Halloween”! Now, he accepts that, as with much of our culture, ever since the end of WWII, we’ve been invaded by a plethora of Americanisms, ranging from the psychological – think of young people “cutting” themselves – to the macabre –  Halloween.
Let’s hope we don’t catch the bug on mass shootings – which is now as American as apple pie and…erm…Halloween!! The former seems to be constitutionally protected, and the latter is even more powerfully protected by the business community!! Money gaffa mek!! Now, you know, dear reader, your Eyewitness is always curious about how these practices came about…and he dug around. And as usual, it seems to go back to the introduction of Christianity into “pagan” Europe and the blending of the latter’s practices into the former’s lifestyle – which was brought to the States when they landed there and wiped out the natives.
So, we shouldn’t be surprised to find out that “Halloween” comes from “Hallow” – meaning “Saints”, and “e’en” meaning “eve” – so it’s like “All Saints’ Eve”, when Christians remember the Saints who’d died for them. That gradually morphed – cultural appropriation like with Easter!! – into older customs of remembering the dead; and from there on, businessmen took over!!
What your Eyewitness is interested in isn’t about how “trick and treat” was introduced, but how the whole darn festival’s being introduced into our dear mudland. After all, it’s not like back in the days of slavery, when they literally “beat out the Devil” from our indigenous cultures, and forced us to accept that we were all sinners from the moment we were born. And that a fella born 2000 years ago died to save us from eternal damnation – if we “believe” in him!!
Here we are…slavery’s over… identureship’s over, and we’ve been “granted” independence since 1966 – to do whatever the heck we want!! And we want to imitate the same people who used to beat the bejesus (see!) out of us??
Why? And that’s the million-dollar (US) question, innit? And the answer – plain and simple – is we really ain’t independent. Through their control over movies, books, “education”, TV and all other means of communication, they still convince us that their schtick is superior to ours. And if we wanna be respected, we gotta imitate them – even as they snicker at us!!
So, listen up, folks…if you wanna invoke scary feelings, let’s tell our kids about Water Mumma and Old Higues!!

…Afreximbank financing?
We just learnt that the African Export Import Bank’s (Afreximbank’s) US$1.5B line of credit for Caricom investment and trade is already being doled out for our development – both to the Government (for public infrastructure) and to the private sector, for business. Your Eyewitness is most interested in the latter, ‘cause the private sector’s supposed to be the “engine of growth”, innit?? So we learn that SISPRO, the new company formed by four soul sisters!! – which bid for 2 oil blocks – will be getting their financing from Afreximbank. This’ll happen via the Newhayven Investment Bank – launched two years ago by Washington-based Floyd Haynes.
Now, what makes this most intriguing is that all of these players are African Guyanese – which should make those bawling about “discrimination” in the oil business sit up and take notice!! It just shows where there’s a will (to make money!) there’s a way! Unfortunately, some are already accusing these Nubian Queens of “selling out”!!
Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t!!

…keeping in touch
Up to now, most of the attention towards Africa from our neck of the woods has been on “culture” – clothing and chanting etc. Hamley Case — as Ambassador-at-large to African nations — should remind that commerce is also African culture.