Guyana : Carnival
The Jaycees of Linden had, since Guyana became independent in 1966, been arranging a organizing an Independence Carnival in McKenzie. A broad based committee including resource personnel such as Wordsworth Mc. Andrew, Arthur Seymour, and Adrian Thompson, began the organization of the Carnival activities. The search for a name to replace Carnival began and former West Indian batsman Basil Butcher suggested by that an Amerindian name is chosen. This was agreed to and several individuals were contacted including several East Indians.
Guyana's equivalent to Carnival is called Mashramani, which means "A Celebration of the Harvest." This festival takes place with Steelbands playing calypso music and costumed clad revelers. It is believed that the first Mashramani happened in the bauxite-mining town of Linden. The next year other towns such as Georgetown, Berbice and Bartica joined in the celebrations. The celebration gets bigger and better each year as many faces of Guyana are seen as new designers throw their artistic abilities into the production of the festival. The costumes have become bigger and brighter with the infusion of the new and youthful designers.
The Carnival season takes place in February and there is an awakening of the races as each indigenous group comes out to party in their ancestral costumes reflecting the multiethnic society of Guyana. The carnival absorbs each ethnic group with their unique qualities, heritage and culture as they come together to play "Mash".
February 23rd, 1970 the Festival called "Mashramani" was a huge success with people drawn from all Regions of Guyana to Linden welcoming Guyana's Republic Status with over three days of frolic and fun. After witnessing the massive crowds, glitter and level of competition, Mr. David Singh a Government Official held discussion with the Jaycees Committee about bringing the event to Georgetown. Approval was also given by the then President Forbes Burnham for Mash to be held as the National Event for the Republic celebration.
NOTE: The Amerindian word is said to be Mashirimehi, which means "Co-operative effort".