Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2017 Contents life B5
Sunday, February 5, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Women too silent
This country has several move-
ments or organisations which
cater expressly to women and
children. One would say that is
good. But there has been a deaf-
ening silence from these organi-
sations in the face of all the stories
which talk about missing girls;
sexual assaults; abuse of women,
mainly in the workplace; and the
major point—murder, together
with a slew of actions against
our womenfolk and our children.
Which leaves me to wonder wheth-
er the various groups really care about
our women. We have all heard stories
emanating from the home and the
workplace about general criminality,
bur nary a word is coming from these
groups. Why is that?
Every week in this society a girl
or woman go missing or a woman is
abused either physically or sexually;
videos are seen with our schoolgirls
fighting or most frightening of all,
many are sometimes killed.
For whatever reason, the organi-
sations say nothing and do nothing.
The will to mount demonstrations is
not there. The idea of issuing state-
ments regarding murders and abuse
seem foreign. And so, in spite of what
happens to our women and girls, we
remain silent, prompting us to ask
whether the groups make any sense
or are they just there to feed over
Remember the murder of brilliant
former attorney Dana Seetahal, who
was ambushed and murdered on her
way home. A nine-day story.
More recently, bank clerk Shannon
Banfield was murdered in a Port-of-
Spain store and her body hidden under
some old boxes. Another nine-day
Then there was schoolgirl Rachael
Ramkissoon, who missed the bus and
travelled by other means. She never
made it alive.
All these deaths and many more
occur all the time and you never hear
these women’s organisation plan to
do anything—a march; a candlelight
vigil; or any sort of action to show
women rising up in solidarity. It’s
like women’s deaths by foul means
is par for the course. Women remain
very silent. To them, there seems to
be nothing nefarious about a woman’s
murder or schoolgirl’s kidnapping.
You may see newspaper editorials
or read some columnist commenting
on things like these.
You may even hear some of these
groups pay “lip service” to the peo-
ple involved in such incidents, but for
some kind of sustained protest action,
there is none. The will just isn’t there.
Because of this, the powers that be
allow a lot of things not only to slide
by, and they always get off the hook.
The bible says you “must be your
brother’s keeper” and we take that to
mean sister also. In this way, it is nec-
essary for us to be ever vigilant and to
look out for one another every day. It
also means that we must have the will
to show our disapproval of occurrenc-
es in the society in anyway possible
and make the authorities aware.
So we are calling on the various
women’s organisations in the country
to allow their voices to be heard and
whatever the cause, show the author-
ities that it matters; they cannot shirk
their responsibility and pretend that
everything is normal.
It’s either we use our strengths or
forget that we belong to an organisa-
tion that is afraid to come forward and
show their disappointment.
The year 2017 is only a month old,
so we have time to flex our muscles.
As one political party would say, “Let’s
VERNON KHELAWAN is a columnist
for Catholic Media Services Limited
(Camsel), the official communications
arm of the Archdiocese of Port-
of Spain. Its offices are located
at 31 Independence Square.
Honouring the past
at your wedding
Recently, I read about a themed
wedding where a bride used the
motif of her mother’s pendant on
her invitations, programme, and
even on her dance floor.
The bride inherited the necklace
with the pendant when her mother
passed away and wanted to incorpo-
rate her mother into her wedding even
though she was not there physically.
The bride was quoted as saying “You
can imagine how powerful it was for
us to have that symbol of her love sur-
rounding and supporting our union.”
If you have lost someone close to
you, remember that although wed-
dings signal a new beginning for you
and your fiancé(e), celebrating your
past can be a meaningful way to per-
sonalise your reception and ceremony.
The key to creating long-lasting
memories for both you and your guests
is to incorporate personal flair, cues,
and symbols that reflect your love and
Here are some suggestions for cou-
ples who want to honour their past or
rekindle family traditions and customs
at their wedding:
• Dance your first dance to the same
song that was your grandparents’ or
parents’ first dance song.
• Print a programme for your guests.
This allows you to explain the signif-
icance of rites and rituals from your
ceremony and make special mention
of those who have passed. You could
also include a brief summary of how
you met or a message of appreciation to
your guests. You can even incorporate
quotations from love songs or religious
books that you both like.
• Honour and remember deceased
relatives by lighting a candle or incense
in their memory, ringing a bell, saying a
prayer or placing a flower on an empty
seat or near a framed photo.
• Celebrate your heritage by incor-
porating some of your cultural ances-
try and traditions into the ceremony.
Look for ways to combine traditional
wedding elements with the non-tra-
ditional for example, a sand ceremony
or “jumping the broom.”
• If you have children with your
partner or children from a previous
marriage, include them in the cere-
mony by asking them to light a family
candle, do a reading, sing a song. You
can also release helium balloons, bub-
bles, confetti, white doves or butterflies
after the exchange of rings.
• Wear an heirloom piece that has
special significance to your family or
your partner’s family , for example at-
tire or jewelry. Or you can use an heir-
loom in a place of prominence at your
ceremony, for example the unity can-
dle set that belonged to your parents
or your parents’ toasting wine glasses.
• Attach a locket which holds a photo
of your beloved to your bridal bouquet,
with a ribbon.
• Incorporate your loved one’s gown/
attire in some way into your wedding
wear, either by repurposing it or re-
Wedding tradition, sawing a log.
Links Archive February 4th 2017 February 6th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page