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Independence 2019 Resilience and Rejuvenation Two Years On

by: - September 30, 2019
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Chief Cultural Officer Raymond Lawrence

The countdown is on to the anniversary of Dominica’s 41st year of independence.

Independence celebrations were officially launched on Saturday, September 28th at the Bayfront.

Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence hosted the event which featured cultural showcase, Evolusyon which was performed on Dominica Country Night at CARIFESTA XIV in August.

The dramatic and colorful performance highlighted Dominica’s bouyon and Cadencelypso music as well as its Kalinago Heritage and Blè, flirtation, Jing Ping, traditional drumming, la peau kabwit and traditional creole and carnival costumes.

Evolusyon featured performances from Ophelia Marie, Signal band, Karina Cultural Group, the Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company and Siboulie Massacre Cultural Group and more.

Independence 2019 is themed celebrating Resilience and Rejuvenation Two Years On – acknowledging the 2017 hurricane Maria disaster and the island’s recovery to this point.

The event began with a call from the cultural officer to recommit to rebuilding.

Hon Tourism and Culture Minister, Robert Tonge challenged all to use this time of year to rise and maintain a creole attitude. An attitude which he says his Ministry is adopting that will link tourism more firmly with the island’s culture.

“As we celebrate our Independence, we want to also recommit ourselves to building a stronger and more robust link between tourism and culture,” he challenged.

“Promoting these elements of our rich heritage, including our dynamic music, dance, art and craft, cuisine, agricultural produce and certainly our creole language and heritage. This indispensable parts of our island’s history and heritage would be utilized more fully in the realization of a more resilient tourism industry. As we build resilience, I am calling on everyone to maintain a creole attitude to living and always maintain our creole Dominican identity, our Caribbean identity even as we absorb certain elements of the new globalized culture.”

The Hon Minister for Climate Resilience and Member of Parliament for Roseau Central, Joseph Isaac represented the hon prime minister at that event.

He issued a call for unity urging Dominicans to think bigger and celebrate the island as a whole at this time. His call comes in the context of the partisan climate that has islanders polarized by two main political parties.

He said, “Independence celebration also represents a time when we should put aside all differences and celebrate the things we share in common as a people. I am pleased that the majority of Dominican’s share this view and that those who seek to fan flames of discord are very much outside of the mainstream. So let us join hands, let us look at the bigger picture. Let all of us work together to rebuild our country in a better and more resilient manner. So today, we pause for celebration.”

This Friday, October 4th is the first Friday in the month of October and so proud Dominicans are invited to wear traditional head-wraps with their creole outfits and celebrate their heritage.

(Photos by Charles Louis Photography)