Mashin' It Up in Guyana

The perfect way to celebrate a job well done.

It is February 23rd. The smell of BBQ cooking, the vibrant colors of the Caribbean, 30 plus floats depicting Guyanese culture passing before my eyes. It is the celebration of Guyana’s 43 year of being a republic—it is Mashramani (or “Mash” as many call it). One of the most vibrant festivals in Guyana and I am lucky enough to witness it.

Mashramani means the celebration of a job well done. The word is commonly known to have originated from the Guyanese indigenous community of Amerindians. The original Mashramani Carnival took place back in 1970s, however its name was not Mashramani but simply Guyanese Carnival. It was after the success of the first festival that persons decided there was a need for a unique local name by which to call it.

A celebration of a job well done—that is what Guyana does during Masharamani. People travel from miles out of town to be a part of this vibrant celebration in the heart of Georgetown. The community of Georgetown gather at 10:00 am to find the perfect place “on de road” to observe the celebration of the heritage they call Guyanese.

With attendance from all across the country, thousands of locals and foreigners flock to the streets to take part in watching the energetic parade full of bright colours and dancing to the loud, exciting music. The Mash day itself depicts a hive of activity from the various streets, winding its way all around town to Georgetown’s National Park. The celebration does not stop then! The party continued on at the National Park with loud music and patriotism. To finish the day off, the singer Rupee closed the night with a concert.

The spectacular costumes, the colourful floats, the loud masquerade bands and the dancing in the streets, this is what defines a country coming together. This is what signifies the Guyanese culture and the beautiful Caribbean country that I have been living in for the past 11 months.

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Published in Volunteer Abroad Blogs
Kendra Borutski

Kendra Borutski is a recent graduate of International Business and Global Development from Niagara College. Presently, she is interning in Georgetown, Guyana with Youth Challenge International through CIDA’s International Youth Internship Program. Thinking about volunteering? Read up on Kendra’s adventures.


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