– thousands enjoy the spectacular floats, celebratory atmosphere
By Clestine Juan
MASHRAMANI is an Amerindian word which means “Celebration after hard work” and it is a day where families spend quality time together and watch the different revellers and bands in their vibrant colours as they march down the streets and into Durban Park in celebration of Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary.
Despite the early morning rain, families on Sunday, February 23, 2020, were out in their numbers as they watched in amusement and danced to sweet Soca music which was playing from almost every street corner.
The aroma of different Guyanese cuisines lingered in the air, as Barbecue stands were almost at every corner and little tents with all the delicacies lined off on a plastic table. There were, among others, plantain chip vendors to men with their pushcarts selling snow cones.
Families, friends, and couples ‘flooded’ the sidewalks, which sometimes resulted in revellers having to battle with some patrons for space to carry out their routines.
For the Johnson’s, it is a family tradition to watch the floats as they pass. Mrs. Johnson explained that she would get up at 05:00 hours and start cooking so that her children ages 4 and 10, can get something to nibble on while they wait for the floats.
“ I normally make Spanish rice, baked chicken, cook-up, stuff eggs, and some other things… but the hardest thing on Mash day is going early to secure a nice spot” the woman said.
Meanwhile, Rayon and her family were seated along Vlissengen Road watching the floats as they go.
The woman explained that she and her family came out early and braved the rain which only lasted a few minutes. Rayon explained that she prepared food for her family, the traditional Homestyle Guyanese’s way.
Other families, however, walked with their grills and barbequed along the roadsides and danced with the revellers as they passed down the road.
Meanwhile, there were numerous tourists from the United States, Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba.
A Venezuelan national also had her hot dog stand out which was sold out by the end of the day.
“I love how everyone is united together and enjoying themselves. I feel right at home,” said a US national as he danced down the road enjoying the Soca music.