National pride heightened as independence is observed
By JASMIN BONIMY
Guardian Staff Reporter
At a time when the effects of the global economic recession continue to grip the country and violent crime is at an all time high, some residents say they are prouder than ever to be Bahamian.
Their pride comes as the nation celebrates its 37th anniversary of independence today. Despite the grim economic and social conditions over the past few months, many Bahamians said they plan to overlook their worries this holiday weekend.
The people The Nassau Guardian spoke to insisted that there is still much to be proud of as the nation turns 37.
Marcia Hutcheson, a street vendor and owner of VIP Productions, a stall that specializes in Bahamian merchandise, said, "There are problems no matter where you are in the world, but in The Bahamas we are doing well. So I am proud to be a Bahamian.
"We are in a recession and everybody is still surviving. We're helping each other out so we can all do well. Regardless of whatever, we are going to wear our colors because we are an independent and proud people."
Zarria Moxey, a teenager, said she loves celebrating independence because it is the only time everything Bahamian is truly embraced.
"I like all of the festivals that we celebrate like Crab Fest and the regattas on different islands," said the 16-year-old.
For some who have traveled the world and experienced other cultures, like Michael Thurston, there is no place like home.
"The Bahamas is one of the best places in the world," said Thurston. "I have been here most of my life but I've done a lot of traveling. But I love The Bahamas, I love the Bahamian people, but most of all I love the Kalik beer."
Charity Brennen, who attended the first Independence Day celebrations on July 10, 1973, said, "I was born here and there is no other place I'd like to be."
For 67-year-old Franklyn Dorsette, the nation's growth and development over the past 37 years is what defines Bahamian history.
"I am proud of The Bahamas simply because we are free from all sorts of things that would impede us," he said, "that is freedom of speech and freedom of worship. In many other countries they aren't as lucky."
In his independence message to the nation, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said celebrations are tempered by what has become a prolonged global economic downturn.
"However, we are a resilient people, resourceful and creative in times of hardship," he said. "We are heartened by the promise of the beginning of recovery and we look forward to improved economic times in the months ahead."
The Nassau Guardian