No excuse not to preserve national and cultural heritage – Roopnaraine

first_imgEducation Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine on Monday charged the National Trust of Guyana (NTG) and Guyanese, on a whole, to make every effort to preserve the country’s tangible and intangible heritage.The Education Minister, who also has responsibility for culture, youth and sport, was part of a group of officials who delivered remarks at the opening of the Georgetown International Heritage Conference at the ArthurOfficials at the opening of the conference at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre on Monday.Chung Convention Centre.According to Dr Roopnaraine, the organisation has no excuse and needs to come up with comprehensive systems of preserving both the tangible and intangible heritage.“Even as I applaud the heroic efforts…valuable work, must admit that the State mechanisms for identifying and observing our built heritage have been far from ideal over the years,” Dr Roopnaraine told the audience.He said the absence of protocols to preserve the most historical building in the capital reflected the gaps in cultural heritage policy that should not occur in a “sculptor rich society as ours”.Dr Roopnaraine said one of his commitments, as a projected outcome of a completed policy, was the creation of a mechanism or the expansion of the remit of the National Trust, with a focus on preserving cultural heritage.He said over the next two years and beyond, culture would occupy centre stage in Government’s sustainable developmental plan. He said there would be an examination of the implication of cultural practices in the era of climate change.“We live in an era when cultural conflict, manifesting itself in the extreme as open warfare, resulting in the destruction of valuable built heritage and artefacts, much of it, hundreds of years old.”Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust of Guyana, Nirvana Persaud said the organisation was established in 1979 following the passage of the National Trust Act. She said the vision of the Trust has surrounded the ideal that heritage should be valued. The National Trust has been doing this for the last 44 years, she said.Also speaking at the event, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said Government hoped that one day Georgetown would be counted among the heritage capitals of the world. He said cultural heritage remained an undocumented casualty of war.The Government hopes to revitalise the scope of work to be undertaken by the National Trust and to ensure that it reaches out to the newly elected Town and District Councils to take responsibility in their respective areas for heritage resources, the PM noted.Meanwhile, United States Ambassador Perry Holloway, who was also present at the event, said the Embassy was doing a lot for the preservation of Guyana’s cultural heritage. He is hoping that in the next month or so, two projects – the repairing of the Stabroek tower and clock and the Georgetown lighthouse, which has been standing tall since the mid 1800s – could get the necessary funding.According to him, Guyana and the US are also this year celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations, as the Americans were one of the first countries to recognise Guyana.The three-day conference, a collaboration between the National Trust and the World Monuments Fund, was organised to boost the heritage sector, particularly the tangible cultural heritage and to preserve, promote and protect Guyana’s heritage resources.During the course of the sessions, seven important areas are expected to be covered including management and policy, history and theory, documentation and conservation, heritage sustainability, heritage and community, and world cultural and natural heritage and economics of preservation.last_img read more

Day 4 of Raiders training camp: A small dose of Antonio Brown

first_imgNAPA — The Raiders got a glimpse of life with Antonio Brown Tuesday, and the perennial Pro Bowl receiver left coaches and teammates wanting more.That’s just a little preview, a little taste, so imagine him being in on every play with (Derek Carr) back there,” wide receiver J.J. Nelson said. “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting. I’m looking forward to lighting up the scoreboard.”Brown went through warmups and drills in full pads, and then through one session with receivers …last_img

Backpacking in South Africa

first_imgIf you want an inexpensive way to travel through South Africa, find your guide to backpacking through the country, here:Backpacking through South Africa is an option if you want to save money as a traveller. (Image: South African Tourism, Flickr)Brand South Africa reporterIf you’ve got more time than money, there’s no better way to see South Africa than to backpack your way around its many offerings: spectacular beauty, a mosaic of cultures, incredible value for money, massive adventure potential – and an undeniable penchant for partying!Interested? Then take a few minutes to run through our quick guide …Get a kikoiFirst off, go out and buy a couple of kikois. Whether you’re a boy or a girl, macho or not, this sarong-like piece of clothing will be your life-saver when the sun’s blasting down, when the travel gear is rolling around in the washer, when you’ve got some downtime and you don’t need to dress up.The kikoi, which comes from Kenya, has been adopted by African overlanders and backpackers as the preferred chill-outfit from Cape Town to Cairo.Backpacking accommodationEastern CapeGautengKwaZulu-NatalWestern CapeRest of South AfricaDo your homeworkNext, go out and buy a travel book on South Africa. If you’re a surfer, you don’t want to find out about the perfect point-break B&B at the end of your trip. If you’re a birder, you’d like to know where to find the elusive blue swallow long before you hit these shores. And if you like to drink a lager at sunset with the best bathing in the southern hemisphere at your feet, it’s nice to know about Lookout Beach in advance, right?You’ll want something like the Insight Guide to South Africa or The Rough Guide to South Africa to get you started. And when you pass the Africa shelf at your local bookstore, you might want to flip through the array of coffee table publications on the country. Then check out South African Tourism’s website, www.southafrica.net.Once you’re in South Africa, all the major centres have well-run provincial tourist offices. Nose around there, and you’ll find the set of pamphlets you need to tailor-make your trip.TransportIf you’ve got a fantasy about riding around SA on the end of your thumb, lose it. This is not hitch-hiker country. South Africa is the kind of place where, if you know what to do and where to go, you’ll never experience a finer trip. But it’s not advisable to enter into the unknown anywhere in the world these days, and South Africa is no exception.So when you’re in the cities, like Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban, use the public transport system, get a cab or hire a car. If you’re staying for a spell, you could do worse than buy a car – and sell it at journey’s end.Each city has a vibrant tourism centre which can advise you on day tours, bus routes to and from your hostel, and discounts where available.The bus services between cities are excellent, and so are the roads. And the backpackers’ delight, Baz Bus, is a convenient, value-for-money, hop-on hop-off door-to-door bus service to just about every backpacker’s lodge in southern Africa.If it’s in your budget, then the classic road trip through South Africa (hire or buy a car, share the cost with travelling friends) will offer up more delights than anything Route 66 ever dreamt of.Your foreign licence (as long as it’s printed in English) is valid for six months. If yours is in another language, then get an International Driving Permit before you depart for South Africa.Where to stayThe good news is, there are backpackers’ lodges galore in South Africa – see our backpackers’ accommodation box above – and you can book ahead by contacting Backpacking South Africa. The other good news is that backpacker bed rates are astoundingly cheap in this country.And once you’re staying at a backpacker’s, you can plug in to the local travelling network and find out all kinds of great things, like where to eat for next to nothing, or party until dawn, or find a long-lost friend. You’re in a well-run overlanding subculture here, so enjoy it.Your choice of where to stay depends on what you want out of the trip. South Africa is, to pound a cliche, a great smorgasbord of tourism opportunities for you to feast on!The peopleWithin hours of your arrival, you’re going to discover that South Africa is a great, heaving melting pot of cultures, colours, languages and traditions. And South Africans are very proud of our diversity.Your pocketbook guides will tell you about us, and how to behave around us. But, like most places, if you’re friendly and polite with the people you meet, chances are you’ll be met with twice the warmth.So prepare to spend time with a Zulu warrior around the fire at night, wake up at dawn and go on a game drive with a ranger who speaks Afrikaans, be served some exotic local dish by a beautiful Malay girl, share a bus with a bunch of transplanted Scots, and learn to say things like “Howzit?” (How is it/ are you?), “Hey, my bra, that’s lekka!” (Hey, my brother, that’s wonderful!), and “Sharp!” (cool!).SA slang is lekker, bru!TownshipsDemocracy arrived in South Africa in 1994 only, so the teeming townships of South Africa are, like the favelas of Brazil, poverty-ridden places where sensitivities are high.But there’s nothing to beat a township shebeen (tavern) pumping after midnight, full of laughter and jazz, or a township marketplace on a Saturday morning. There’s a sense of vibrancy in SA’s townships that cannot be met in the traditionally quieter urban suburbs. This is where you meet the soul of South Africa.But take a guide, go with an accredited tour, don’t just blunder off into a strange settlement. And with the right introductions, and a few simple safeguards, you’ll have the time of your life.Outdoor adventuresCulture’s fine, you say. But where’s the rush? Welcome to Adrenalin Central.South Africa is where you can toss yourself over the highest bungee jump in the world, where you can hit the white waters of our river systems in rubber ducks (inflatable boats), where you climb the peaks of our mighty Drakensberg mountains, where you can microlight through the hills of Mpumalanga, and where you can dive -in a cage, thankfully – in the middle of Great White Shark territory.There’s also another level of outdoor activities that includes horseback trail-riding, cattle mustering, hiking for days through mind-blowing landscapes, quietly fishing for the noble trout in our Highlands, or tracking the rare black rhino for hours in the safe hands of a trained guide.South Africa was built for the outdoors spirit, and we celebrate this in a hundred different ways.Food and drinkPrepare yourself for World Grub, a global gastronomic trip that could begin with chicken sosaties (kebabs) and end with mopani worms fried over an open fire. We have Chinese, we have Italian, we have American, we have good old British stodge – but we also have Cape Malay, KwaZulu-Natal Indian, boerekos (farm fare), and the finest lamb chops from the vast Karoo scrublands.The South African service industry is on a fast track, and you’ll have no problems eating out or self-catering.When it comes to beer and wine, you’ll find either of both of these to be plentiful, excellent and very cheap. South African beer, because of the hot weather, is a special favourite. And a tour of the Cape winelands will have you sending cases of Cabernet home.The nightlifeOur cities all have their clublands, catering to the various youth tribes in the country. Raves, folk clubs and jazz clubs are everywhere. And listen out for kwaito, our home-grown, township R&B rap style.Cafe society has finally caught on in South Africa. For decades, no one did anything but walk on the sidewalks, and now you literally can’t move for all the coffee bars and late night restaurants that have sprung up.Again, Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town are night-life favourites, but prepare for after-hours surprises in places like East London, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.The mediaThe big cities have all got their set of daily newspapers, and there’s a lively magazine industry that supports tourism. Travel tips, lifestyle information and facts you can use can be found in all our bookshops and news agents. If you want to catch up on national news from home, most leading newsgents also carry offshore publications.Internet cafes have blossomed all over South Africa, and you’ll find them not only in the large centres but also in many of the small rural towns you’ll be passing through. Take time off to keep in touch with the family. Encourage them to come over and join you!SafetyThe same rules apply as for anywhere else in the world. Be careful. Don’t wander off alone down dark alleys at night.Try not to display all your electronic possessions.Pack cash, credit cards and traveller’s cheques in separate places. Let your lodge or hotel know where you are. Leave your expensive jewellery at home.Keep a look out for muggers, and store your wallet where it can’t be pickpocketed. Take care around automatic cash machines.These and many other safety rules are what you should be following back home and while travelling anywhere abroad. Crime is not endemic to South Africa.PhotographyDust is the enemy – always remember that if you’re carrying cameras in South Africa. One of the reasons our sunsets are so spectacular is because of mid-air dust, which also tends to foul up camera equipment if care is not taken.In the winter, you’ll find your soft light from about 3pm to 5pm, and in the summer it all starts and ends a little later. But, if you can make it, the African dawns are equally superb for photography. Try to time your photo-excursions for the “book-ends of the day”, leaving the harsh light of the lunch-hour for the poolside siesta.If you’re packing more than a little pocket camera, then consider dropping in a 300mm zoom lens for the long shots, especially when you’re out in the wilderness and you can’t get closer to those lions. For normal street-work and portraits, a smaller 28-80mm zoom lens is best.Last-minute check listHealth/travel insurance?Malaria pills for the summer months (November through March) for certain parts of the country?Relevant contact numbers?Luggage locks?Sunglasses and hats?An unbridled sense of fun and adventure?Check out some useful facts for tourists – and have a blast!This article was first published on South African Tourism. Republished on Brand South Africa with permission of the author.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more