At risk of losing our culture?

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In a recent discussion, Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks argued that we are at risk of losing our culture.
Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks is a director, performer, custodian of oral tradition through storytelling and a college orator at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica.
During the Big Issues on OBSERVER Radio yesterday, Blackwood-Meeks said, “We learnt in primary school a very simplistic definition that culture is a way of life … if we accept that definition, in our situation, we have to ask ourselves, whose way of life … where we have Muslims and Christians and Rastas … rich and poor … educated and uneducated?”
She said, “that very simple and simplistic definition of culture gets us into a great deal of problems.”
Dr. Blackwood-Meeks added: “If we look at culture, however, as a world view … as a way people see themselves … as the values that we hold dear … as those things that have not changed throughout civilisation, but which have assisted civilisations to maintain themselves and to stay together as whole and wholesome … then we begin to get a different picture, a different understanding of what culture might be or could be.” 
Panellist Claudette Bekha Charles, a writer, said places like the United States and the United Kingdom influence and drown our culture. “They’re bigger than we are … we can influence them by so much … but their influence is overwhelming.”
She added: “Caribbean people on a whole tend to value what’s bigger and better than themselves, and don’t realise that their own culture here is just as big as everybody else’s.”
Another panellist, Mrs. Edith Oladele suggested that “wherever you don’t appreciate your own culture and you leave a vacuum, something else is going to come into fill it.”
Oladele is the Coordinator of the African Slavery Memorial Society in Antigua and Barbuda.
On whether the country’s systems of justice is linked to our culture, Dr. Blackwood-Meeks concluded: “It still maintains the old colonial formulation … so we are being governed by people, including ourselves, who form part of that government, who have not healed, who have not emancipated themselves from mental slavery… and in that chain, we are being arrested by policemen who have not healed, to be taken to a prison system that has not healed from colonialism … to be judged by judges who have been trained in the old colonial ways … and so there is a mental and psychological deficiency from which we all need to be liberated.”

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