The Brazilians are not coming.
They are here and have brought with them an irreconcilable decadence that has corroded that coy naiveté that many of us preferred to have define our country’s night life; now becoming plagued by social insomnia with the presence of too many ladies of the night walking in broad day light.
The presence of thousands of Brazilians is particularly discomfiting; especially when one considers the details of that pesky treaty that they keep bringing up for revision every time they feel that they are not getting the economic attention they seek from Guyana. And that discomfiture took on political significance when it was said that many of these immigrants – more like migrants – who fell short of the constitutional requirements for citizenship, were granted this status with the express understanding that they would join the PPP and boost that electoral faction. With the Ministry of Home Affairs, then headed by the disreputable Rohee who was reporting to the maleficent Ramotar, there was no way these claims could have been refuted, largely because there was an inefficient system monitoring the entrance of foreigners to our country and a paper shuffle that represented very lax record keeping.
So, we got Brazilians who came to work as miners in a country that had well north of thirty five percent unemployment and a government that never thought of preparing this unemployed block with the skill that these migrants were coming in to offer. There is a dark under belly, too, to this mining environment that involves trafficking of women and men but this is not why we’re looking at these Brazilian miners, in this conversation. We’re looking at them as a migrant enclave brought in to our communities relatively surreptitiously and which brought, along with them, a culture that is too tawdry for us to advertise in neon lights and a sexual irreverence that was once reserved for the hammocks and the bush cots of the forested residence of our pork knockers and their wabines (colloquial spelling).
Now, our nightlife is mash of long hair and gyrating hips on women whose pouts are meant to be more provocative than petulant. Our mid morning jaunts down Regent street may be distracted by some woman who is distinctly not Guyanese; lips caked with that red wax that may as well be a flashing neon sign that warns us that she is ‘open’; stuffed into a dress that is too glimmery for office and too tight for anything but a ‘hoe’ stroll. Our night spots are sexually suggestive, cornished in sexual innuendo, called Tight and Sweet ( AN EATERY NO LESS, but, perhaps, capitalizing on the inuendo that brings in traffic) and there is no shyness in the description of the raunchy program content at any venue on Sheriff Street, or Regent Street, or any street that has a pole to exhibit the gymnastics of Brazilian women , their dexterity in demonstrating the versatility of said pole and the receptive laps of men whose moral compasses are that piece of anatomy that these women titillate during their infamous lap dances.
There are some who say that this activity commandeers only a fraction of our city’s night life. In a city as small as Georgetown, all it takes is a fraction of smut for it to be ranked amongst the sleazy capitals of the world. And, there should be more concern for the over abundance of Brazilian eateries, too. We are a land of six peoples with each bringing its unique cuisine to our culture. Of course, we can be immigrant -friendly but when the Brazilian Steak Houses are poised for more economic prominence than our coal pots and woks and tawas and tumas and whatever Portuguese fry our garlic pork in, we are creating a debilitating competition between culture and economics at the expense of our national fabric.
On May 11th 2015, the electorate voted for a government that would put patriotism before politics. We got a President who understands the importance of efficient oversight of the Immigration process, as it pertains to the inundation of Brazilians. We are hoping that he will extend this oversight to the adult entertainment business that this enclave has cornered and impose restrictions and controls that once made our social naiveté and comparative coyness a tourist attraction. I am hoping, too, that the new level of oversight will revisit the encouragement of businesses that profile our national cuisines so that there is proportional representation of our dishes to diners.
We are now embarking on tourism as a viable industry and of necessity must create our singularly unique image which will be our handle in the world of tourism and President Granger and Minister Cathy Hughes have assured us that, with its untapped potential, tourism must be an integral part to our nation’s rebuilding.
It is imperative, therefore, that upon his visit to Georgetown, the tourist is never made to feel that he has found a cheaper, albeit idyllic, alternative to Sao Paulo.