“Borders Divide Customs Connect” says PM Douglas

Speaking at a service to observe the day, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas, stated that despite that this is true in the context of international trade and commerce, this theme can also have relevance in areas that have nothing to do with international trade.

Douglas said, “Borders exist in a geographical context, yes.  And these are the borders that matter where international trade is concerned. Non-geographic borders also exist within societies, however.  And in our own society, for example, there are borders that distinguish Methodists from Catholics, Pentecostals from Moravians, Rastafarians, Jews, and adherents of other faiths, one from the other.

He continued, “Kittitians and Nevisians, thankfully, have been far better than the people of many other countries, in understanding that denominational labels are simply convenient ways of distinguishing minor variations in religious rituals or practices.  We have been blessed in our understanding that what is important are not minor denominational or religious differences that could divide us, but the far more important commonalities – the shared belief in the teachings of Christ – that unite us. Borders divide, yes, but they do not always have to.”

In addition to religious or denominational borders, the Prime Minister said, there are other borders within the nation as well.  “There are the borders that separate the young from the old, the rich from the poor, and the educated from those who have not had those opportunities.”

He concluded by saying “Let us as a nation see geographic borders for what they are – the means by which we protect the territorial integrity of the nation, which our forefathers have left us. And let us see our societal borders for what they are as well – fleeting and temporary distinctions that can in no way compare with the bonds that have brought us this far. Let us go forward, then, ever resolved to adhere to the customs that will serve us all; The custom and habit of faith; The custom and habit of decency;  The custom of habit of respect for self and others;  And the custom and habit of being our brothers’ keeper.
International Customs Day was observed on 26th January, 2012.

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