Jounen Kwéyòl ka Veni

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Clau­dia Elei­box

The smell of roasted meats, cooked to per­fec­tion with fresh and lo­cal sea­son­ing, served with a per­sonal choice of lo­cal ground pro­vi­sions, roasted and fried bakes or steam­ing fresh lo­cal bread is about to fill the air. Madras of every cut, seam and shape will be flut­ter­ing along the road­sides in the cool Oc­to­ber breeze and full-fledged wob dwiyet dresses will be pa­raded on stages. Dance, mu­sic and per­for­mance por­tray­ing all of Saint Lu­cia’s his­tor­i­cal rel­e­vance will be sounded on street cor­ners, ra­dio sta­tions and aired on tele­vi­sion.

De­spite the re­cent events of Hur­ri­cane Irma, there’s some­thing to look for­ward to. If you don’t al­ready know what’s com­ing, be pre­pared for a month-long cel­e­bra­tion of cul­tural en­rich­ment with the un­fold­ing of yet another event from the Soleil cal­en­dar. The na­tion­ally an­tic­i­pated and stom­ach sat­is­fy­ing Jounen

Kwéyòl (Cre­ole Day) will be es­corted this year by an in­ten­tional and well-planned Arts & Her­itage Fes­ti­val, a new com­pli­ment of Cre­ole Her­itage Month.

On Wed­nes­day September 6th, 2017 Thomas Leonce, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Events Com­pany Saint Lu­cia, made the in­tro­duc­tion for a brief­ing of lo­cal me­dia on the up­com­ing events for the Arts & Her­itage Fes­ti­val.

The ex­cit­ing events for Cre­ole Her­itage Month will of­fi­cially com­mence with a pub­lic launch on September 24th, 2017 at the In­de­pen­dence Square in Vieux Fort. Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to come out and par­tic­i­pate as the events planned are all com­mit­ted to the pub­lic’s en­ter­tain­ment.

Leonce noted, “The cel­e­bra­tions will be staged along the length and breadth of Saint Lu­cia through­out the month of Oc­to­ber,” with as­sur­ance of nec­es­sary pro­to­col from the Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Or­ga­ni­za­tion (NEMO), Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force (RSLPF) and the Saint Lu­cia Fire Ser­vice, and smooth ex­e­cu­tion. “We an­tic­i­pate that this struc­ture will pro­vide greater ef­fec­tive­ness and ef­fi­ciency go­ing for­ward and we re­main pre­pared as al­ways to take any learn­ing which would be com­ing out of it to fur­ther en­hance the over­all prod­uct.”

In his short speech, Leonce noted that Events Saint Lu­cia was only the provider of lo­gis­tics for the up­com­ing fes­ti­val and that the Cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (CDF) and Folk Re­search Cen­tre (FRC) would en­gi­neer the bulk of the cul­tural plan­ning. In com­par­i­son he said, “I just wish to in­di­cate that the fes­ti­vals do not be­long to Events Saint Lu­cia nor to CDF nor to FRC. We are sim­ply cus­to­di­ans at this point in time as they re­ally be­long to all of Saint Lu­cia.”

Saint Lu­cia has for the past thirty-three years hosted mass-crowd Jounen Kwéyòl events thirty-two times, the ex­cep­tion be­ing Oc­to­ber 2010 when Hur­ri­cane To­mas “washed the cel­e­bra­tions away”.

Hil­lary La Force, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of FRC, was pleased to present that Saint Lu­cia is the only cre­ole­s­peak­ing coun­try which cel­e­brates cul­ture with a Cre­ole Day. It was a re­fresh­ing re­minder when he noted, “Saint Lu­cia has def­i­nitely em­braced this cul­tural fes­ti­val and I can safely say and boast that it is the big­gest cul­tural fes­ti­val in Saint Lu­cia.”

In the past, Jounen Kwéyòl would be hosted in only one com­mu­nity, the last be­ing Choiseul, which even­tu­ally be­came over­whelmed with crowds. Since then cel­e­bra­tions have been split be­tween four lo­ca­tions on is­land; this year they will take place in the com­mu­ni­ties of Babon­neau, La Res­source, Marigot and Vieux Fort.

Each com­mu­nity will have its own cul­tural as­pect to of­fer dur­ing this year’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

Babon­neau will be a unique provider of meats and African tra­di­tions that have been pre­served in the com­mu­nity, such as Solo.

The agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity of La Res­source, Den­nery will de­liver a farm­ers’ mar­ket of all lo­cally ap­pre­ci­ated pro­duce such as farine and cas­sava, all with the back­drop of Lu­cian Ku­doru (Den­nery Seg­ment).

Marigot, known for its unique and re­fined en­ter­tain­ment. will be host­ing a mini mu­sic fes­ti­val in­cor­po­rat­ing var­i­ous Euro­pean­in­flu­enced, cul­tural gen­res.

South­ern­most and ec­cen­tric, Vieux Fort town, tak­ing the role of a fish­ing vil­lage, will make avail­able seafood along with other lo­cal del­i­ca­cies.

In ad­di­tion to the usual Cre­ole Her­itage Month ac­tiv­i­ties such as Jen­nès Kwéyòl, La Wenn Kwéyòl, Ok­to­ber­fest and the An­nual Sto­ry­telling and Poetry Evening, some other in­ter­ac­tive events are planned on the na­tional scale.

Dité Kwéyòl will be an event fo­cused solely on our tra­di­tional teas and their ben­e­fits and Bal Kwéyòl will be a tra­di­tional ball of cul­tural and folk dance.

Dre­nia Fred­er­ick, Events Co­or­di­na­tor for the CDF, high­lighted the change of at­mos­phere for the an­nual Icons Se­ries and Artists’ Mar­ket (now Kwéyòl Mar­ket) which would both be hosted this year dur­ing the Arts & Her­itage Fes­ti­val, as op­posed to dur­ing the Jazz & Arts Fes­ti­val last year.

The cul­tural icon who will be cel­e­brated this year is Garth St. Omer, Saint Lu­cia’s first nov­el­ist. A re­mark­able trans­la­tion of prose to per­for­mance is ex­pected for this event which will be hosted at the Na­tional Cul­tural Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 2nd, 2017.

Kwéyòl Mar­ket will be set up for three days in Con­sti­tu­tion Park prior to Jounen Kwéyòl. It will be an op­por­tu­nity to “ex­pe­ri­ence our cul­ture in the vibe and buzz of the city” along with an ex­hi­bi­tion in the Cas­tries Town Hall.

The cal­en­dar for the Cre­ole Her­itage Month will be packed with cul­tural good­ness in­clud­ing other ac­cents like the La Mar­guerite Fes­ti­val.

This year, un­der the new um­brella of the Arts & Her­itage Fes­ti­val, Events Saint Lu­cia, CDF and FRC prom­ise to ex­e­cute a Cre­ole Her­itage Month to quench all de­sires of the Saint Lu­cian pop­u­la­tion.

Dre­nia Fredrick, CDF Events Co­or­di­na­tor.

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