Come… venture with us this week beyond a “vast ocean of ignorance” into the “diary of the human race”. There, on stained mahogany shelves or beneath piles of dust or cobwebs – words live silently in libraries. A quick trip to a library will reveal the sophistication of the renaissance, the tales of martyred men and women, the mysteries of the heavens, the untold beauty of natural landforms, the elegant verses of characters and the technological evolution of humanity. Within the Island Neighbours, several of these literal domes exist; Martinique’s Schoelcher Library built by Pierre – Henri Picq in 1889 and the Dominica Public Library. Many of these structures have since graduated to services which are completely computerized.
Many libraries and writing clubs in Guadeloupe host reading drives, book fairs, exhibitions, as well as poetry reading and storytelling event. The stories of the diablesse (devil), Compère Lapin et Compère éléphant are trademarked throughout the island. What are your favourite library moments?
It’s Reading Month in St Lucia. This year, the island-wide event is being held under the theme “Readers as Independent Learners and Critical Thinkers”. In this COVID-19 atmosphere, take some time to read a book or read to someone; a child or the elderly. Make this a habit!
Take a cultural hike with Bwa Lan San Association in Guadeloupe. The walk is a march to discover the culture and the environment of Guadeloupe. The association summarizes the walk in a proverb of Guadeloupe or a quotation of Marcus Garvey: “Un homme, sans la connaissance de son passé historique, de son origine et de sa culture, est comme un arbre sans raciness” (A man with no knowledge of history, his origin, and his culture is like a tree without roots).
Elsewhere, discover a literary kingdom this week with a visit to the Schoelcher Library in Martinique. This historical monument was originally built in France, and later shipped to Martinique via boat. The building is beautifully adorned in European architecture and equipped with thousands of books. Next, visit the Dominica Public Library and enjoy the exploration of literature in a modern, technological setting.
Historical note! Did you know that Victor Schoelcher donated 10,000 books from his personal collection to the Schoelcher Library? Get to know your neighbours!
A bit of the French & Creole Language for the Visitor
French or Creole- Français ou créole – Fwansé ében kwéyòl