Know Your Culture dance group holds second annual cultural gala

 

Dancers in 18th century quadrille costume

Know Your Culture dancers shone vibrantly in a variety of Dominica’s cultural attire at their second annual cultural gala held on Saturday July 30th in New Jersey.

The groups founder, Sabina George-Mingo works tirelessly with Dominican citizens and their children, in teaching dances such as, flirtation, waltz, belle’, quadrille, heel & toe. Adults got rave reviews from the audience as they graciously danced the 18th century waltz and kids bounced around on stage with bows and arrows, performing Karifuna, while teen men & women danced the quadrille, all showcased on Saturday.

A live band serenaded the audience and dancers with cultural rhythms and musical instruments such as the boom boom, shack shack, accordion and drums.

Sitting in amazement was a hall filled with Dominicans and foreigners, who felt deep memories as their island’s culture came alive. Sabina ensures that every segment was perfect! From the dancers array of brightly colored attires, including jazzed up fullers and head pieces, hyped movements and stunning smiles.

Enticing dishes such as salt fish with bakes, peleau, fruit juices and other delicious foods were served.

Please visit knowyourculture.org for more information on upcoming events, pictures and information on the organization.

A special thank you to all supporters and sponsors.

For original article: Know Your Culture dance group holds second annual cultural gala | Dominica News Online.

Thousands celebrate Emancipation Day at National Park


Thousands of Guyanese made the annual journey to the National Park to celebrate Emancipation Day yesterday. And this year, things were to be spiced up given celebrations for International Year for People of African Descent. The rains, however, marred attendance.
Many dressed in flambouyant African wear, while others dressed casually for the day out – mostly geared towards the cultural show. This was despite the fact that it rained for most of the morning, and the weather remained cloudy for the rest of the day.
The activity is held every year by the African Cultural Development Association, ACDA. President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and his wife Yvonne, Presidential Candidates of the main political parties, Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green, and members of the Diplomatic Corp were on hand for the celebrations.
While the cultural programme was being staged, President Jagdeo and Presidential Candidate of the ruling PPP, Donald Ramotar, greeted those who were in the National Park.
African drumming helped to create a lively atmosphere as patrons either tried to get African foods, African-inspired jewelry, craft, and even literature.
The celebrations organized by ACDA were held within the theme of the United Nations International Year for People of African Descent (IYPAD): “Recognition, Justice, and Development” for our Emancipation Festival.” ACDA added the sub-theme “Re-uniting the African Family” to add focus to this year’s celebrations.
Ghana, which was the first country south of the Equator to gain Independence from Colonial rule in 1957 and also the first African country on the Continent of Africa to celebrate  Emancipation, also used the theme “Re-uniting the African Family” as both its Emancipation and IYPAD themes.
Every year, ACDA chooses one African country to celebrate, but this year decided to capture inspiration from all 54 African countries.
“The celebration of Mother Africa underscores the reality that Africans were brutally dispersed throughout the World during the Arab and European slave trades and most Africans in the Diaspora cannot be sure of which African country their fore parents and ancestors lived in,” ACDA said.
ACDA also stepped away from its tradition of recognizing one African village for the Emancipation celebrations and instead decided to celebrate the more than 100 villages bought by African ancestors after Emancipation.
A visiting Mexican Folk Dance Group also performed at yesterday’s ceremony, much to the delight of the crowd.

For original article: Thousands celebrate Emancipation Day at National Park : Kaieteur News.

African Heritage Celebrated

The President of the St. Andrew’s Development Organization (SADO), Martha Bowen, has reminded Grenadians of the importance of celebrating their African heritage.

“We must keep that flame burning,’’ Bowen said August 1 at the SADO-sponsored 2011 Emancipation Day celebrations and Rainbow City Festival in St. Andrew.

Emancipation Day commemorates the official proclamation of 1838 when enslaved Africans working on sugar plantations in Grenada and other British colonies in the Caribbean were granted their freedom from chattel slavery.

According to Bowen, Emancipation gave the fore-parents of today’s Africans “the freedom to express themselves and to practice all their customs and traditions.’’

She added that the customs and traditions are now part of “our culture. It is part of us, even though we may be influenced by outside culture. We still have to hold on to what is unique – our African roots.’’

Emancipation Day included a march around the Town of Grenville, a cultural show and an exhibition of locally made craft, clothing, food and drinks at the Grenville Car Park.

Bowen said the event “remains an exhibition of our Grenadian culture centered around Emancipation.’’

Among the hundreds from St. Andrew and across Grenada who attended the August 1 celebration of Emancipation was MP for St. Patrick East, Prime Minister Hon. Tillman Thomas.

The theme of the Rainbow City activities was, “Celebrating our African Heritage with the Spirit of Emancipation”.

For original article: Spiceislander.com » African Heritage Celebrated.

Emancipation Jubilee 2011 a fitting tribute to our ancestors

Drums beat the language of freedom Sunday night at Emancipation Jubilee 2011 in Seville, St Ann, paying respects to ancestors who fought and died to break the bonds of slavery over 170 years ago.

A huge audience turned out to celebrate the event, held under the theme “Let the drums talk,” with support coming from brothers and sisters from continental Africa, in the form of the Nigerian Dance Troupe (Nigeria) and the Tribanghi Cultural Group from South Africa.

The two overseas groups joined the likes of Kingston Drummers, Children of the Drums, along with other cultural groups from St Ann, St Mary, Hanover, Westmoreland, Portland, Kingston and other areas, for a spectacular show.

Full story: Emancipation Jubilee 2011 a fitting tribute to our ancestors – Lead Stories – Jamaica Gleaner – Tuesday | August 2, 2011.