Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett is not fully convinced that Barbadians understand and appreciate the value of local culture.

Speaking at the launch of Berger Paints’ colour chart "Inspirations" recently, the Culture Minister said he was eagerly anticipating the day when the public and private sectors, the financial, economic and social planners, practitioners and consumers could appreciate the comprehensive nature of Barbadian culture.

"I look forward to the day we accept that our culture is unique and is of value to us; that it must be cherished, preserved and proudly promoted, both at home and abroad. Ours, and not other people’s culture and ways of doing things, must be given the greater priority. Our pride in our culture must become evident for the world to see," he stressed.

Local culture, Mr. Blackett suggested, was not about the gyrations popularised by the festival, but, rather, a manifestation of the Barbadian way of life – its shared beliefs, values, behaviour patterns and practices.

"Our culture is a combination of all the elements which constitute our way of life. It is a continuing way of life – not static, not simply applicable to the present, but evolutionary," he pointed out.

In addition, the Culture Minister called for greater synergy between the business community and the cultural industry, noting that such a relationship would assist in the promotion and marketing of products which were uniquely Barbadian.

"Products which convey our way of life and which offer uplifting and economic benefits, products which are built on the renewable resource of human creativity," he remarked.

In this regard, Mr. Blackett paid tribute to the company, whose new chart uses the colours of Crop-Over for its themes and was developed in collaboration with local artistes.

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