Jamaican-owned production company in New York, Braata Productions will host its annual Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival. In addition to celebrating Jamaican culture, this year’s theme will also place special focus on celebrating the culture of three other Caribbean islands – Dominica, Bahamas and St. Kitts & Nevis.
The free event will take place on 12 August 2023 at Archie Spigner Park in Queens, New York. This annual festival celebrates Caribbean folk traditions, including music, dance, storytelling, and culinary arts. It aims to preserve and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean diaspora.
Bankra – a Symbol of Caribbean Heritage
The festival takes its name from the Jamaican Patois word “bankra,” which means “bundled straw” like a basket or “burlap sack.” The term symbolizes the resourcefulness and creativity of Caribbean people in transforming simple materials into beautiful and functional objects. This festival serves to “carry on a bankra of traditions”, states Clarke and he “wishes for everyone, parents, children, grandparents, church groups and more to join them in celebrating their heritage.”
Best Caribbean Food, Music, Art on Showcase
The Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival features live performances by Caribbean artists, interactive workshops, craft demonstrations, and food vendors offering traditional Caribbean cuisine. It provides a platform for Caribbean artists and performers to showcase their talents and engage with the community.
The day’s events feature a Drumming circle, Steel Pan Orchestra, Basket Weaving demonstration and instruction, Storytelling, a Pop-Up Cultural Exhibit featuring life-sized puppets of Anansy, Rolling Calf, Bacoo among others, and the Play Zone featuring dandy shandy, marbles, hopscotch, ring games and more.
The event also welcomes special guests Captain I Can! and Mrs. Sonshine (Altano and Tamara Morgan), who are on a mission to promote the social wealth of children and adults, through positive and inspirational words and songs which encourage, enhance self-esteem, good values, and positive behavioral changes. It is proven that words create thoughts, thoughts create actions and actions create your destiny.
Photo – Braata Productions