Ramleela Outreach 2013

 

The Divali 2013 season has seen two significant first time events for Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. It was the first time in our bank’s 49-year history we sponsored a Ramleela event. Ramleela is considered the oldest and largest open air theatre in the Caribbean. It provides an opportunity for people to learn the story of Ram’s life and his adherence to truth despite harsh challenges. In 2005 UNESCO proclaimed Ramleela among the world’s ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’. According to UNESCO, Ramleela is a repository of cultural diversity and creative expression, as well as a driving force for living cultures. Since Ramleela can be vulnerable to the forces of globalization, social transformation, and intolerance, UNESCO encourages communities to identify, document, protect, promote and revitalize such heritage.

The Bank sponsored the Palmiste and Environs Drama and Visual Arts Society-Pandavas 2013 Ramleela presentation. This is primarily a youth drama group, which started thirteen years ago. The sponsorship (part) of this group is in keeping with the Bank’s tradition of supporting the performing arts and art in country. This has been done since the Bank’s inception.

We decided to use this as an opportunity as well to reach new communities in south Trinidad. The two outreach arms of the Bank, the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman and the National Financial Literacy Programme set up booths at the entrance to the Pandavas Ramleela site at Palmiste Park from the opening night. We were able to interact with hundreds of people and educate them on our financial education services, distribute literature on financial planning and inform people on how they contact us for our free services.

This event was a great success as feedback from the crowd revealed the public’s low awareness of these services from Central Bank and many members of the public indicated they are in need of these services and will be accessing them in the future.

The burning of the Rawan

OFSO Staff speaks to visitors at the booth

NFLP Staff speaks to visitors at the booth

Children playing at the Ramleela Outreach