Monday, June 2, 2014

Consul General Randy Rolle Sees Viable “Cultural Exchange” Opportunities for Bahamas Abroad

Consul General Rolle. Junkanoo in Savanah

Story: Arthia Nixon, for the Bahamas Consul General of Atlanta
Photos: Kenyon Missick

(Atlanta, Georgia)… The unique culture of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas can be successfully marketed abroad, especially within the United States. This, according to Randy E. Rolle, Bahamas Consul General to Atlanta and surrounding areas.

“June officially marks Caribbean Heritage Month in the United States,” noted Rolle. “After personally attending the recent Atlanta Caribbean Carnival festivities, and seeing first-hand the way Junkanoo left its mark on the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade, I am quite optimistic about the opportunities that exist for us to export our culture to those who want to learn more about it.”

CG Rolle being interviewed live in Savannah during parade

Rolle commended Junkanoo groups like Barabbas and the Tribe who have been participating in the St. Patrick’s Day parade for about a decade, thanks in part to their relationship with Jack Flannigan, owner of the famous Tybee Island Crab Shack.

Junkanooer photographed at St. Patrick's Day Parade

“They [Barabbas and the Tribe] come over each year to participate in the oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the United States,” said Flannigan. “It’s a wonderful opportunity because they showcase their Junkanoo with two performances per day during their stay on Tybee Island. Also, people who come into our restaurant always ask about our Junkanoo décor and we take pleasure in explaining the Bahamian connection.”

CG Rolle giving interviewing in Savannah

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to be uniquely Bahamian,” said Rolle who gave seven interviews with American media while in Savannah. “People know us for vacations and many people just happen to know about Junkanoo because they visited during Christmas, New Year’s or their hotel had a small group over for an event. With so many rave reviews by reporters following the IAAF Relays mentioning Junkanoo, and Caribbean Heritage Month being celebrated right before our July 10thBahamian Independence Day, The Bahamas has a great opportunity to participate in various cultural exchanges. Whether it’s through Junkanoo groups participating in American parades, Junkanoo dance classes being offered in studios and gyms or even our historical ties and connections to United States in particular, we are well equipped to present The Bahamas on an international level.”

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