Celebrate Jamaica: Each One Teach One, Jamaica at DC’s Flower Mart
Last Friday and Saturday, Flower Mart 2012 hosted over 130 vendors at its annual event…along with special performances and displays showcasing Jamaica. I attended the event on Saturday. As I walked onto the Cathedral grounds I heard Reggae music from speakers, entertaining those who had sought shelter from drizzling rain. Flower Mart was held at the Washington National Cathedral — floral + art displays and the KC Chapel Choir inside the Cathedral — and hundreds of vendors, tents, and performances outside. Jamaica was on full display and much of the crowd gobbled it up. The floral displays were lovely and they attracted lots of visitors (I’d appreciate if folks could identify the flowers in the pictures below…I’m clueless about those things…are those Anthuriums and Birds of Paradise?).
Also on display was lots of art made by Jamaicans – photographs, oil paintings, drawings, carving, pottery.
Later, outside at the front of the Cathedral, there was a well-received drumming performance from the Akwaaba Drummers. Sounded like Kumina to me. The children loved the drumming and one man in a wheelchair did not miss out on the fun.
Inside the Cathedral the KC Chapel Choir (they were so cute, I wanted to pinch their cheeks…but I didn’t…promise) effortlessly delivered many songs, classics and adaptations.
Also on site was a busy tent manned by Grace Foods giving out free samples of banana chips and coconut water (boo, it contained sugar!), just beside the Embassy of Jamaica tent that offered glimpses of Jamaican literature, crafts, tourism, and food (free Christmas cake, Easter bun, and Blue Mountain Coffee).
But what really captured my attention was a small tent sheltering a potter’s wheel. That display belonged to Jamaican potter Philip Supersad (he also lectures at The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts). I may have missed some of the earlier lessons but I was glad to catch him guiding a young girl as she used the wheel. It was really mesmerizing to watch as he at first helped her shape something out of that lump of clay, and still enthralling as he effortlessly formed what could become a vase.
It was clear to anyone who attended 2012 Flower Mart that Jamaica was the honoured country. If even in a small way I think that lots of people learned about Jamaica last weekend. I was proud :)