On Nov. 30, 1966 Barbados raised its national flag for the first time. Every year since then on that date, the Caribbean island that is the focus of Totally Barbados, has celebrated Independence Day.
As on previous occasions, Barbados’ Independence Day 2012 will be marked by several activities reflecting national pride and sense of accomplishment of the small nation with just over a quarter of a million people residing on 166 square miles.
That sense of accomplishment is rooted in a number of facts, like the country being held in such high regard internationally that former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was moved to say that: “Barbados consistently punches above its weight.”
It is also reflected in Barbados being regarded as a middle-high income country, with per capita income of around US $24,000.00 and being ranked 47th out of almost 200 countries, on the UN’s Human Development Index.
These are but a few of the indicators of how far the country has progressed since it ceased being a British colony.
It is little wonder then that Independence Day is celebrated with much pomp and ceremony.
The main event is a spectacular parade in the morning, traditionally held at the Garrison Savannah in St. Michael, the home of horse racing in Barbados.
This year’s event will feature more than 1,000 persons representing armed forces and unarmed units.
The detachments include:
The Barbados Defence Force (BDF), Royal Barbados Police Force, Barbados Cadet Corps, Barbados Prison Service, Barbados Fire Service, Government Security Guards, Barbados Youth Service, Barbados Boy Scouts Association and many others.
They will be under the direction of Parade Commander Major Glyne Grannum of the BDF, as they perform a number of complicated routines for an appreciative crowd.
The celebrations however begin long before the actual day and one of the biggest programs to commemorate the occasion is the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA).
From its inception, NIFCA was intended to showcase the best local talent in the disciplines of dance, music, drama, literary arts, culinary arts, fine art and craft, photography and film.
It is actually a competition in which the participants vie for gold, silver and bronze awards, with the most coveted prize being the Governor General’s Award of Excellence.
Throughout the month of November there are also other signs of independence celebrations that are hard to miss.
Among them are the colourfully lit and decorated traffic roundabouts reflecting predominantly the ultramarine, gold and black colours of the national flag.
Many businesses in the city of Bridgetown and around the country are similarly adorned in the spirit of Barbados’ celebrations of its Independence Day. (PRWEB)