So I was walking through Sheraton Centre on Friday and two things jumped out at me. One was the proliferation of “Black Friday” sales and the other was the abundance of Christmas decorations. I also visited Cave Shepherd in Worthing at the beginning of November and was met with Christmas trees and garlands. What???
While some of the stores in Sheraton promoted Independence by putting up bunting or selling teeshirts, the fact that we were in the month of independence did not jump out at me in these major shopping centres. Are we saving it for next year when we celebrate our 50th anniversary?
The argument that Christmas is a major commercial holiday which has the potential to be a huge money maker holds no water for me. You can make a holiday or national event your own. What’s wrong with a “Blue and Yellow” or an “Independence Sale?” I heard an advertisement for an independence sale at one store. Maybe there were others but I heard much to do about “Black Friday”. Why can’t we promote our own at all levels?
Let us stand up and be different from the rest; show national pride. Our children go to school and learn to sing “God Bless Bim on Independence Day” and wear all kinds of cute outfits. Let us show them that we think our culture is just as important as what they see on television.
Some commercial establishments have combined the celebrations, been innovative. Nothing wrong with that. That’s one idea.
The proliferation of Fourth of July, Halloween and Thanksgiving sales and other commercial events bombard you as you watch American television. Why on earth do we have to copy them? Should we “blame Errol Barrow” as I heard someone say for setting the date so close to Christmas? Should we sit back and ask what do we have to be proud about?
Those in business can do better. We should move beyond just wearing blue and yellow to work on the day before Independence, or eating conkies or watching the parade. We should show national pride in business as well and maybe that will set us on the road to building and maintaining a stronger Barbadian business environment where we are not afraid to take risks and expand beyond our shores.