We do not respect pan, so pan leaving Trinidad & Tobago.
It may seem like nothing really, to us, but the world sees it, and they are acting while we react. There are countries right now doing far more for pan than we do, and will eventually have a greater claim to it then we have.
Why do we not have a national pan ensemble to use at public events?
Why do we not have a national steel orchestra to send as ambassadors to important functions?
Because we do not respect pan.
Other nations have full time pan players on a salary, we use pan to coral votes through Pantrinbago.
It is time that panmen and panwomen got the respect they deserve.
We should be setting pan protocols for the world to follow.
We should be setting the standards of pan and pan development.
Our pan people should be given assistance to further their knowledge base and skill sets. Teach them to read and write music. Host a tool workshop to streamline and standardise.
All of these things are the start of a real revolution of respect for pan, but that wont happen until we respect it.
Like with everything else we have and take for granted, it is only when outsiders accept and adopt pan will we rush to pretend we love it too.
Again, it is not enough to claim it was invented here. The television set was invented here too. We need to be doing something with it
There should be a national culture museum that highlights the development of pan from its very beginning. There should be a pan school that people could go to learn how to make and how to play pan. We need a pan amphitheatre designed for the best acoustics to allow persons to hold pan concerts for full orchestras for wide audiences who love pan music. Most importantly, we should be leading the way in integrating pan together with other instruments to give it the worldwide acceptance it deserves to have.
Pelting a couple million at it for Carnival may put a couple dollars in pan men’s pockets and allow us to pretend for a minute that we cultural, but until we take pan seriously and do what it takes to carry the invention where it needs to be, it will continue to lie idle, another potential giant money spinner and source of pride for many of our people left to languish, because we still have not learnt how to love being we.
Big up this morning to all the pan men and women who have made this craft their life despite these trying circumstances.
Don’t think for one minute that your struggle is not seen.