Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 25th 2014 Contents B9
Thursday, September 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
It s been four years since the
National Parang Association of T&T
(NPATT), has not been able to stage
its annual parang competition because
of lack of funding. And now the organ-
isation is saying that this is putting
the parang season in jeopardy. Public
relations officer for the organisation
Michael Lezama said in an interview
on Tuesday, in the 43 years the asso-
ciation has been celebrating the cul-
tural activity, this year has been the
worst with regards to funding.
"We have not been able to even begin
preparations for our annual flagship
event, which signals the start of the
parang season, And it is mere weeks
away. This event is held between the
months of September to December
each year and culminates with a com-
petition finals in the middle of Decem-
ber," said Lezama.
He added the association has even
had to scale down on the number of
schools entering the national primary
and secondary schools parang compe-
tition because of insufficient financial
"We are not even going to have a
preliminaries or semis, we will just host
a one-off event to accommodate them
this year," Lezama said.
He said the competition finals had
been suspended since 2010 because of
poor funding, and it was expected to
be held this year, but there has been
no change in the financial situation.
He added the association began expe-
riencing financial problems in 2010.
According to Lezama the association
formerly received a subvention of $1
million from the PNM Government. It
then went down to $500,000 when
Winston Peters became the Culture
minister under the present Government
and now they currently receive a sub-
vention of $120,000 from the same
ministry which is now headed by Dr
Added to this, he said corporate
sponsorship has also been coming in
"We are really in a tight situation
and it does not seem to be getting any
better," said Lezama.
To help itself the association has
embarked on a series of fund-raising
events which began with an Easter boat
cruise held in April and a weekly Friday
night parang lime held at its headquar-
ters in Arima. The Parang Association
will stage a parang concert on Septem-
ber 27 at Queen s Hall, St Ann s fol-
lowed by a parang boat cruise in
The figure needed for the association
to pull off a successful parang season
is in the vicinity of $3.5 million. Lezama
said this is to facilitate the junior parang
competition which will cost $335,000,
the senior parang festival at a cost of
$1,971,000 and $310,000 is needed for
training and development.
Lezama said, however, the association
has requested less than half of its pro-
jected budget from the ministry which
will total a sum of $1,456,000. But
since they presented the budget to the
Ministry in April, there has been no
He said the subvention of $120,000
which the association received on
August 4 will be utilised to defray its
operating expenses such as utility bills,
stationery and allowances.
Lezama said the lack of funding has
affected many stakeholders, including
the parang groups who can no longer
get appearance fees, the vendors who
make some income during the parang
season at the various parang events and
most of all the association is unable to
take parang to the various communities
at its 13 venues across T&T.
"I am saying this should not be. We
are calling on the government to assist
the association in bringing this cultural
commodity to the national community.
Parang will always be alive but for it
to reach hits fullest potential, it needs
the right funding. Everything else seems
to be getting funding. This is our cul-
ture, why are we turning our backs on
it," Lezama asked.
"It is our hope that our request for
a meeting with Dr Lincoln Douglas
would be entertained soon," he added.
• People who wish to assist the
Parang Association can call 355-5645
Season 'in jeopardy'
Los Alumnos de UWI is one of the country's most popular parang groups and will
be a fixture at events over the parang season.
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