St Lucia to celebrate International Creole Day

Published on Thursday, October 16, 2008
By Anselma Aimable
Caribbean Net News St Lucia Correspondent

CASTRIES, St Lucia: St Lucia and other Creole speaking territories such as Dominica; Guadeloupe; Martinique; Louisiana; Reunion; Haiti; Cayenne; Mauritius and Seychelles will be commemorating International Creole day on October 26, as the event is usually held on the last Sunday in October.

Some older folks in Grenada, Trinidad and St Vincent also speak Creole fluently. In St Lucia, October has been designated as Creole Heritage Month and the official launch was hosted in the village of Canaries on October 05.

The main activities to mark International Creole Day will be held in the communities of Canaries, Piaye, Micoud and Grande Riviere in the quarter of Gros-Islet.

However, Kennedy "Boots" Samuel, Executive Director of the Folk Research Center (FRC) has encouraged other communities, schools and business establishments to get involved and put on activities to mark the occasion.

Usually, schools and business establishments host their activities on the Friday prior to the official day and this year is no exception.

Some of the activities for the month include: traditional games; training workshops in cultural traditions; panel discussions; Wenn ek Wa Kweyol (Queen and King of Creole); Kilti asou lawi-a (Culture on the streets) and Koudmen - Community project.

These activities and more will be taking place at various venues around the island.

On October 18, 2008, the FRC will be presenting The 2nd St Lucia Kweyol Music Festival and St Lucians will be treated to authentic Creole music. The entertainers will include African Roots; Addition Band; Crackers Combo and Mamay Lakay International. Pastor William Paul original Creole gospel artiste and Martinique's Internationally acclaimed Kali, featuring St Lucia's ace saxophonist will be the special guests on the night.

In a special interview with Caribbean Net News, Samuel emphasized that as its mission, the FRC is seeking to create more awareness and knowledge of the island's rich cultural heritage. The FRC is also urging St Lucians, especially the youth to develop pride in their heritage, which makes them a unique people.

When quizzed about the earlier days of Joune Kweyol celebrations, Samuel said the celebrations started as a media event in the early eighties, but the first official celebration was hosted in Mon Repos in 1984.

Creole Heritage Month will culminate on October 26 and St Lucians and visitors alike will be looking forward to experiencing the Creole church service; exhibitions; traditional technologies; rich traditional expressions; cultural traditions; delectable cuisine and sing-a-long, danceable music.

Since the first national celebration in 1984, Joune Kweyol has developed and improved to the extent that the national celebrations is now being hosted in more than three communities around the island. The theme for this year's International Creole Day is "Kweyol-la Toujou Vivan." (Creole is always alive)

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