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KWEYOL FRENZY

Image: Students of the Gordon and Walcott Memorial School in Castries (left) and Grace Combined in Vieux Fort (right) in the thick of JounenKweyol activities yesterday.
Image: Students of the Gordon and Walcott Memorial School in Castries (left) and Grace Combined in Vieux Fort (right) in the thick of JounenKweyol activities yesterday.
Students of the Gordon and Walcott Memorial School in Castries (left) and Grace Combined in Vieux Fort (right) in the thick of JounenKweyol activities yesterday.

EXPRESSIONS of cultural pride will dominate this weekend as Saint Lucians observe JounenKwéyòl, the flagship activity of Creole Heritage Month.

Jounen Kwéyòl will be held in four communities tomorrow, namely Jacmel, Choiseul, Gros Islet and Belle Vue (Vieux Fort), with the communities highlighting traditional pastimes that have contributed to their social fabric. However, other events are being hosted in various communities today.

For the past week, the momentum for the much-anticipated event has been growing. For instance, many schools and business places hosted creole-themed events to celebrate the island’s rich cultural heritage, with specially-prepared creole dishes, playing of folk music and wearing of traditional clothes being the highlight.

With yesterday observed as International Creole Day (JounenKwéyòlEntennasyonal), Castries was abuzz with people buying last-minute items such as clothing and groceries to usher in the creole weekend. International Creole Day has been observed since 1983.

Image: Students of the Gordon and Walcott Memorial School in Castries (left) and Grace Combined in Vieux Fort (right) in the thick of Jounen Kweyol activities yesterday.
Students of the Gordon and Walcott Memorial School in Castries (left) and Grace Combined in Vieux Fort (right) in the thick of Jounen Kweyol activities yesterday.

Since its initial hosting in 1984, JounenKwéyòl activities have been organised in several communities around Saint Lucia, which has served to highlight those communities’ contributions. However, the event was cancelled in 2010 following the passage of Hurricane Tomas which battered the island just days before the event was to be hosted. Since then, however, the event has continued to be a favourite on Saint Lucia’s cultural calendar.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is encouraging Saint Lucians to enjoy a safe JounenKwéyòl weekend. Chastanet’s comment comes just days after hosting a kwéyòl lunch at the official residence of the Prime Minister at Vigie.

“I am very pleased with the great sense of cultural expression and diversity which comes to life at this time,” Chastanet said on Friday. “I hope we all immerse ourselves and derive a deeper grasp of our identity as Saint Lucians. Let us do so in a safe, peaceful and responsible manner as we take part in the main celebrations for Creole Heritage Month.”

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

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