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Learning their history

tpetstambroseafricanColourful clothing and the most interesting of hairstyles were the focus at St. Ambrose Primary this morning, when the school celebrated African Heritage Day.

Principal Jacqueline Andwele said the reasons they were recognising the heritage went beyond the fact that it was part of the curriculum to the fact that they wanted to teach the children about their history.

“It is an important part of their life and we think it is important that they know and understand where they came from. You know as the saying goes, when you know where you come from you will know where you are going in the future. That is what we try to teach them here,” said the principal of the City-based school.

She added that one of the things they also tried to instil in the children was pride in themselves, not just as Barbadians, but as people of colour and African descent.

This lesson, she reiterated, was a core tenet on which the events were based.

Among the activities during the day were a natural hair competition, African wear display and entertainment.

“We want them to understand as well that their hair is a part of them, as well as their beauty. It is a part of who they are and we want to celebrate their Africanness that is part of their hairstyle.

“Even when we are talking about natural hair competition, the children ask if they can wear weave and braids and so on, but we tell them we want to see their African-ness, so they can appreciate and love themselves and how they look,” she explained.

“The response has been great. You see how the children came in their African wear, and one of the other things we did was to tie-dye T-shirts, for those who did not want to do the full African wear, so they can still be a part of the celebration.

“I was telling them this morning that dressing in African wear is like role playing, and they can use it to really bring through their heritage,” said Andwele. (LB)

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