As an avid pan enthusiast and a national steelband Panorama fanatic for the last 35 years, I am totally enraged and insulted that Minister of the Arts Dr Lincoln Douglas has no problem with the planned Pan Splash party to be held by Pan Trinbago today at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
This is not only our national instrument but the musical invention of the 21st century. To even conceive of this idea is not only unthinkable but shows even those who are in charge of pan do not see the need to emphasise that pan is a very important part of our culture. All races enjoy and even play pan. It must be included in all our school curricula.
Is this the only way Pan Trinbago can encourage more people to listen to and admire the sweet sounds emanating from these steel drums? Is this what they call innovation? To me, this is not only disrespect and disregard but neglect and abuse of all the hard work our pan players go through to reach the Savannah, and all some can do is engage in frolicking, and now, swimming, whilst these men and women play their hearts out.
Pan lovers should either vehemently protest this foolish idea, or boycott the Panorama finals. It is when we allow small mistakes to go unheeded and unchallenged that we cannot rein in the bull after it has charged. It seems every year, our Carnival is embroiled in some bachannal, be it with calypsoes, Carnival bands or routes, and now, Carnival pool parties.
I am annoyed and hurt, and I urge all true, diehard pan lovers and supporters to call on Pan Trinbago to rethink and recall this planned Pan Splash.
Nalini Dial, activist/pan advocate