By Kimani Wiseman
Growing up in the 90s in SVG would always be special to me. The evolution of technology has change a lot of activities, for example there are more smart phones, tablets, and laptops available to persons which have make communication much easier. However, a lot has change since the popularity of smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Before the evolution of technology in Stvincent and the Grenadines, I remember on weekends a lot of boys and girls would pitch marbles in the different communities. My favourite marble was the “Big Zoom”. Households did not have cable and internet and for entertainment families and friends would play a lot of games such as: snake and ladder, ludo, chess, checkers, Dominoes, monopoly, scrabble. Card games such as: 7, 8,9,10, jack, go through pack, something well, Uno. On Saturdays, I remember I use to be glued to SVG TV because cable was not available at the time and some of the popular series I would have watched are: Knight Rider, A Team, MacGyver, Magnum PI, Air wolf, Highlander, Walker Texas Ranger, etc.
The making of kites for Easter was a good experience. Kites use to be made from pointer from coconut trees, plastic bags and thread. After making these kites they would then be flown in different villages and some persons would journey to Argyle to fly their kite in the strong wind. During the summer months when school was close, I remember me and some other friends in the neighbourhood we would take coconut branches and use them as bats to play cricket sometimes in the road and in the park. We would also play soccer in the road and get a lot of stubbed toe from trying to kick the ball and your toenail would kick the pavement.
Playing soccer and cricket on the beach were also fun times. Some kids would also go up at the Botanical Gardens and ride their skate board and bicycle. A lot of schools use to have fair with the best being at the Kingstown Preparatory school with good music and games. Sports in the secondary and primary schools had lime and spoon and sack race as part of their sporting activities. Music lovers who wanted to listen to music while on the go, “Walkman and Discman is what they would have used”.
Carnival back in the 90s was exquisite. There were a lot of music bands such as Touch, Xadus, Black sand, Signal, Asterisks etc., with some really good songs and artiste. Some of these artistes and music bands who would have made significant contribution tovincy carnival are: Gerard Rasum Shallow- Perseverance (Xadus), Kendal Whizzy Wiseman – Bilah sanka (Xadus), Kendal Whizzy Wiseman – Don’t Bend Down (Xadus), Godfrey Dublin – Kangaroo (Touch), Ifil Shortte- Maco Man (Touch), Black sand- Blow me whistle, Asterisks- Disco Ivy, Winston Soso, Dr Alston Becket Cyrus, etc. Who remembers clash of the bands? Clash of the bands had all the biggest soca bands clashing at victoria Park to see who would be the best band. This was the brain child of “Glen Jackson and Cedric Mills”. Anytime a vincy old school soca burst in any party or any part of the world the whole party mash up.
Christmas in vincy in the 90s was different. A lot of persons would buy the real Christmas tree to give their house the true Christmas scent and these trees would then be decorated. A group of guys would go house to house very late in the night with their musical instruments playing Christmas carols.
The house at Lowmans leeward with all the beautiful lights and decorations was a popular attraction at Christmas time. People use to share a lot more for the Christmas season and had more love in them, these days people have gotten more selfish.
In conclusion we must not forget what life was before the evolution of technology and we must keep these traditions alive so that our children and grandchildren would remember them. For example, sometimes on the weekends families and friends can put down their smart phones and tablets and come together and play some of the board games mentioned above or card games and have some fun.
The Government and some Business places can collaborate and organize some competitions and award prizes in different villages to help keep these traditions alive. How about a marble competition in different villages? Or a competition for the best built kite for Easter? This would help to spread more love in the communities and bring persons closely together which can alleviate the high crime rates. We must also continue to honor and appreciate more of our soca artiste from in the past because they are the foundation of where our soca music is today.